Teachers Write 6/25 Tuesday Quick-Write: Sometimes…

On Tuesdays & Thursdays during Teachers Write! Virtual Summer Writing Camp, we’ll be sharing quick-write prompts, designed to get you free-writing for a few minutes in response to a question or idea. Some of these will feel like writing memoir, some will focus more on fiction or nonfiction or poetry. Some of them will just be hard to categorize. Many will be prompts that you can bookmark and share with your student writers later on.

Our Tuesday-Thursday quick-writes can be used as a simple free-write, brainstorming, warm-up activity OR as a way to deepen your thinking about a work-in-progress.  So feel free to approach the prompt in whatever way works best for you, even if that means ignoring it and writing about the other thing that sprouted in your head when you sat down to do the quick-write. Okay… got your keyboard or pencil ready?

Tuesday Quick-Write: Sometimes…

Imagine a place that you love… It can be your own kitchen or backyard, a faraway beach, a bustling city market, or a hard-to-reach vista at the end of a hike.

Start by writing this:

Sometimes, (in your place, on your beach, wherever you are)…

Then brainstorm all the things you might see, hear, smell, feel, taste and wonder in that place.

Feel free to scribble this in prose or just as a list, or if you want, you can write it as a free-verse poem. Here’s part of a poem that I wrote, called “Sometimes on a Mountain in April,” that you can use as a mentor text if you’d like. It starts like this…

Sometimes, on a mountain in April
the rocks are so slippery
you have to slow down
and this is good.
It’s when you’ll notice
a quiet curtain of moss
that drips with melting snow.

It’s when you’ll hear the rush
of streams,
swooping up tired old leaves
carrying them off
in dizzy laughter
to somewhere warmer,
open,
free.

 

Or go in your own direction. The idea here is to mine some memories and focus on sensory language. If you’re working on fiction and want to do this activity writing in a character’s voice, feel free to try that, too – you may find that what your character notices will be interesting to you. If you love science writing, try “Sometimes in an electron field…” or whatever fits your passion.

If you’d like to share a few lines of what you wrote today in the comments, we’d love that – and promise that all our comments will be friendly supportive. (We’ll talk about more constructive critiques later on. Let’s just get our feet wet with compliments today!)  If you’d rather keep your writing to yourself today, in your notebook or on your hard drive, that’s fine, too.Please feel free to TALK to one another in those comments, too! Some things you read there will resonate with you or spark memories or simply make you sigh. Writers will appreciate hearing about that… I won’t be able to comment on every single post today, but I’ll pop in and read, and you know that cheering one another on is part of this community, too!

Please note: If you’re a first-time commenter, I’ll have to approve your comment before it appears. This may take a while if I’m not at my computer, but don’t worry – I’ll get to it and it will show up later on!

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403 Comments

  1. Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Ok. This is scary to be posting here, but here I go!

    Sometimes on the south shore of Lake Ontario, the fish wash up and stink up the whole place with their fishy smell. Their mooneyes stare up into the sky and cloud over. Their once-shiny bodies become dull, but the seagulls find them delectable, their cries calling their friends to the feast. It’s hard to find a place to enter the water, with limp bodies strewn about. Still, the sand is cool and soft beneath my feet as I walk along the beach. If I dare to venture closer to the water, careful to avoid the dead fish, the hard, wet sand feels reassuring on my soles. It’s firmer and cooler that the dry stuff. Bits of shells and water-worn glass poke out from the sand. These I pick up. And the piece of driftwood that catches my eye. I place these items in my pocket, running my thumb over each surface, committing their feel to memory; memory of a childhood that drew to a close ages ago. There is no breeze this morning. The water is calm, with only the slightest kiss against the shore. I turn and walk away, the sounds of summer and youth fading behind me.

    • Kim
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Beautiful. I feel like I’m right there on that beach walking with you. I could really relate to the sea glass and driftwood in your pocket and running your thumb over their surface. That’s exactly what I do! I love how they evoked that childhood memory of doing the same thing. There’s a poem lurking in this piece!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      I felt so drawn in that I felt as if I was walking along the beach with you feeling what you were feeling.

    • Erika Victor
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      This really took me to your place!

    • Brian R
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Thanks for sharing, Wendy. Your descriptive piece reminded me of a novel I read earlier this summer: _The Highest Tide_ by Jim Lynch, a coming-of-age story about a quirky boy in Washington state who makes astounding discoveries at low tide.

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Wendy, this is wonderful to read, as my own piece today is about the scent and feel of water, and you hav ebrought me right to your piece of beach. Brian R, thanks for sharing that book title. It was recently recommended to me. Now I’m doubly ready to read, since Wendy’s piece evoked the same feeling in you.

      • Gretchen
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        I read that book last summer on my Kindle. Loved it.

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. And I must add that title to my (very long) list!

    • Melanie
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Great sensory imagery!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I love this, Wendy. I especially like the contrast between the beauty in the scene and the fish. Contrast adds power, because you don’t allow the reader to settle into one emotion and stay there–we keep re-experiencing it, every time you switch between them. And there’s the layer of depth in how the driftwood, sea glass, and fish all had another “life” before that moment: as a tree, as a bottle, as a living fish. Two of those new lives you see as valuable enough to keep and one you step over, but the seagulls see the value in the one you don’t (and they don’t see the value in the ones you keep). I don’t know if you consciously intended those connections, but as an author, I’ve learned to pay attention to those “happy accidents” in writing where your unconscious mind has drawn lines that maybe you don’t even see yourself at first. Well done!

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Cynthia,
        As a reader, I would find that contrast right away. As the writer, I’ll admit it was completely accidental (I think!). Thank you for your comments.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      The juxtaposition of the dead fish and the pleasant sensory experience is very effective.

    • kelly
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      You’ve written my summers only at Hood Canal in Washington State. I still do this!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Love this – and it takes a lake person, I think, to understand that the dead fish smell really is part of the package!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Incredible sensory details, Wendy. Very vivid descriptions. I’d love to read more!

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for all the wonderful comments, and to Kate for posting this prompt.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Wendy,
      I love the contrast between the ickiness of the dead fish, and the cold hard sand on your feet and finding treasures. (Kind of strikes me that the seagulls are finding their own delectable treasures!) Your piece makes me long for some water side time!

  2. Paul W. Hankins
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Wendy has this super “sound stuff” that happens at-the-phrase and within the sentence level. You don’t have to look hard to find it as it makes the eye and ear feel good to work together to process these gems. Here’s an example: “Cries Calling their Friends to the Feast.” That’s poetry within the paragraph. I also like the sensory “stuff” of committing to memory the surfaces touched by her thumb. It’s a great, as Barry Lane would say, Shrink a Century kind of post here. We’re right here with Wendy, those of us who grew up near or around water.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      (Internal dialogue: Oh, my gosh! Did Paul Hankins really just comment on my writing? I’ve been following him on Twitter forever!).

      Thanks Paul. I appreciate the feedback!

  3. Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    I like this mentor text a lot!

    Sometimes, on the summer porch,
    the breeze is so lovely
    you have to slow down.
    You forget about the oppressive heat,
    stacks of used glasses and piles of sweaty clothes.
    You notice the leaves fluttering slowly
    next to you as you sit eye-to-eye;
    a serene spot for reading, writing, talking reflecting,
    It’s when you remember sitting on another porch,
    long ago,
    proud to listen quietly amidst wise women,
    Voices long quieted, yet alive in memories,
    It’s when your mind wanders to the future,
    You pray that you can stay on the porch
    to make summer memories
    for those yet to be.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Ahhh…. the summer porch. You just took me back to my grandma’s in Appalachia in the 1970s.

    • Julie Burchstead
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I love the feel of this one too, Anita. Gives me an idea to try. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      This is wonderful! When I think of summer, I automatically think of sitting on my parents’ porch, so this poem really resonates with me! Thanks for sharing!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      I love this poem! So relatable…I feel like I’m sitting on the porch with my grandma, aunts, and mom, shelling peas and talking. Excellent!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Anita- I love how in such a short piece of text you relate to the present, reflect on the past, and predict the future. I can tell why this is a favorite place.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Such a comforting scene!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      I think this piece goes along with mine so well. I too hung out with the wise women in my family and learned so many things. Now, with my mother’s recent passing and my aunts all getting older, I’m beginning to realize that I’m one of the older, “wise” women being listened to. Your writing touched me…

  4. Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Chicago

    Sometimes in the summery city
    When the water laps at the lakeshore
    Nearby towering buildings
    Seem to be yearning
    To wet their toes
    As they reflect the scorching sun

    • Paul W. Hankins
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Ha! I saw Chicago before I read the title “Chicago.” Is it strange SOMETIMES that we read the body of the work before going back to look at the title, hoping that the writer has offered some kind of punch by way of title selection? “Sometimes in the summery city. . .” Reminds me of that old song by Lovin Spoonful. “Hot time summer in the city. . .”

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        I immediately thought of this song too!

        We’ve got a summer theme going on here. And such great imagery!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Love this Christine! I visited Chicago earlier this year and images evoked by your vivid words bring back those great memories!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      Great Job, Christine! Makes me miss my home state of IL and makes me look forward to my visit at the end of next month. Well done!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m on my way to Chicago this weekend for the first time, and I’m glad I have this great image to keep in mind as I visit! 🙂

  5. Kim
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Sometimes on the dirt road I jog on, the deer flies are so thick, I survive my jog with a fly swatter in hand. The early morning dew drips down my face when I run under a canopy of trees. The dogs might flush a turkey or a bunny or sniff around at a painted turtle trying to lay her eggs. My mind wanders on that dirt road. After a while, I don’t notice the effort it takes to run. I am thinking of my unborn granddaughter, the one that was due last week, the one I can’t wait to meet. I think of all the things I must do. I think of all the things I don’t have to do. I think of the failed lessons I taught and how I can improve them. I think of the great lessons and why they went so well. I think of the moose prints up ahead and look deep into the forest to see if the moose is standing, watching me. Suddenly I am tangled in a web that’s draped from one side of the path to the other and I feel my legs once again. I run until I see Mt. Kathadin peeking through the trees and then I stop and just marvel at its beauty.

    • Kristin Russo
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      “My mind wanders on that dirt road.” I love the simplicity and complexity of this line. When you get to the running autopilot place (which is hard to do!), your mind explodes. I felt like I was running right beside you and my reward was the view of Mount Katahdin. Lovely writing. Also, how wonderful that a new granddaughter is on the way. Congratulations and best wishes!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I love how you compare your thoughts to the spider web you come across in your run. Great piece! I also love to get so lost in my thoughts that I “forget” that I’m running.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I want to live there. I love how you capture the essence of a morning run…the wandering thoughts and the gratefulness to be alive and well.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Oh, can I relate to this one – went trail running with my daughter yesterday & my legs are covered with those itchy deerfly welts. (Sometimes one should just keep running!)

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      “After a while, I don’t notice the effort it takes to run.”

      This quote reminds me so much of what it feels like when I’m finally writing and really getting into the story. Oh, and I cringed when you ran into the spider web! I love the feeling of actually being there with you.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      I love it that your description actually makes me want to get to that place in running once again. Um, except I’d like that place to not be filled with deer flies!

  6. Paul W. Hankins
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    If it\’s just a quick write, then I am going to go for it right in this space. . .

    Sometimes, you flip through the photographs to find the front of the house. Boxed in by a Polaroid frame, it\’s not half as daunting as it would be if you were to take the cracked sidewalk to the front steps. Not nearly as amusedly-depressing as the numbers tacked to the wall to the right of the door, the way the third three is missing a nail which always caused it to slip sideways to create a \”w.\” It was as if the house were offering welcome. But you know better than this. These are your memories and even within these memories, you take your finger and fix that number to stand erect, even if only temporarily before slipping once more. Threes. Three people live in this house.

    For three months.

    On two stories.

    Learning one lesson.

    You remove your finger from that third three noting the impression for the heat of your own touch on the coolness of the picture left in the Rubbermaid tote with the others.

    A nursery. An old piano. An old cupboard that would never stay shut.
    A toolshed.

    333 Graysville Street. Now the numbers are in order and standing tall for inspection.

    Sometimes. . .you have to fix the numbers.

    Sometimes. . .you have to set the record straight.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      “memories within these memories” You have created such a strong image and a sense of deeper things

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Good Morning Paul! Love the images your words painted …

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      It isn’t just the memories you have created, but such emotion filling them. Great job.

    • Erika Victor
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      This brought tears to my eyes!

    • Julie Burchstead
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Paul,

      I loved the ending! Makes me want to read more, look for a deeper meaning too, as someone else said.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Wow. This took me so deeply in, somewhere. A quick write. Isn’t it amazing how that spurs one on to do a NOT- quick one? Thanks for doing this on the fly. That’s educational too.

    • Kerri Schegan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      333 was my grandmother’s address, and that number is very special to me. Beautiful piece!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Paul,
      I love the image of trying to “fix” something even within a memory of it. Haven’t we all tried to do that?

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      oh, I love the way the last line brings it all in.

  7. Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Sometimes …

    It is not what you see but won’t you don’t see that triggers memories …

    You may see a historic church building …

    You may see the remanants of large old trees …

    You may see a young girl wearing green …

    But what you don’t see is the memories evoked when I look at this image …

    I see a somewhat scary time in my life when my dad changed jobs requiring us to move just before I started high school ….

    And that turned out to be a wonderful step!

    I see a building whose insides were once falling in even if the outside structure remained strong ….

    I think many of us put up that same facade at times of being strong on the outside while possibly falling apart inside …

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      You are right. An image, a sound, a scent can all trigger a memory. You have tapped a few memories that may make good writing projects.

  8. Julie Kelly
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Sometimes on the aged brick patio, as the sun breaks through the tangled branches of the trees for its final appearance, the shy blue sky envelops and stills me, the franticness of the day leaves, and I become aware.

    • Anne Clark
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Julie, I can see it! And I love the frantic leaves!

    • Ann O'Hare
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      I can feel the peace that your patio/porch brings you.

    • Megan Bayrd
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      What a lovely patio scene!

    • Margaret Stokes
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Julie, I can see it!

    • Kristin Russo
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      “…and I become aware.” I love the pace of this writing. It slows to this simple sentence just when I’m ready to, also, become aware. Love it!

  9. Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Sometimes on that bridge you must cross to get to the falls you feel out of balance. The taste of fear in your mouth is strong and bitter. It is at this point the breeze carries the scent of trees and flowers to wash over your body, drawing you forward. You take that first and second step, swaying to the rhythm, legs stiffening, knuckles white as you grip the ropes tightly. You glance over the side, stomach in your throat, and see clear frothy water rushing over the boulders below, and hear the splash that calms you and helps you find the courage and balance to take you to the other side where you celebrate the victory of staring fear in the face to reach your goal, the glorious falls that drop beneath you washing
    away all your cares.

    • Stacy
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      You hit a cord in my life. Your thoughts sum up my feelings exactly. Stomach in my throat, hearing the plush that calms my nerves, taste of fear…yes, Sandra, you touched my heart. Thank you for sharing.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      This reminds me of crossing a suspension bridge with my son, who was afraid…helping him deal with his fear helped me with mine, too!

  10. Mara
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Sometimes…..early morning. Really early, I rise and greet the day with dread. Walking blindly to the door. Cat comes in… Dog goes out. Lesson plans start brewing Along with the coffee machine. Spittering, sputtering, drips of thoughts. Formulating into the perfect cup.

    • Michelle O'Brien
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      I.love.this! Feels so much like my school mornings. I especially love how your lesson plans “brew” with your coffee. Mine too!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      I think we’ve all had our moments of greeting the day with dread. Even if there’s a good pot of coffee brewing! This sums the feeling up nicely.

  11. Amy B.
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, when they’ve stayed up too late the night before, I wake up before the children. I tiptoe to my desk; a few clicks around the universe tells me the world still exists. The sun squeezes through the slats of the dusty Venetian blinds (maybe I’ll get to them today). The birds converse outside the window; I only recognize the coo’ing of the Mourning Dove. The hermit crab chirps in his (her?) cage, asking for, well, who knows what. Even the cars that pause at the stop sign on the corner sounds sleepy. A thump. Stomping feet make a run for the bathroom. Dresser drawers slam both open and shut. A call from the bottom of the stairs, “Mom?”. I stretch and head down to great them, the day, and to coax delicious, roasty smells from the coffeemaker.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      I really like the line “a few clicks around the universe.” And I love the juxtaposition of nature sounds with cars, computers, etc.

    • Andrea Payan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I can absolutely smell the delicious roasty smells!

  12. Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in my Honda Civic, I turn the music up too loud and belt out the lyrics to Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. Sometimes I replay conversations from the day, worrying if the problems at school are too big to solve. Sometimes an idea hits me square in the head, and I pull over to write it down or record it on my IPhone. Sometimes my husband and bonus kiddos load down the trunk and head out on the highway with books in tow, ready to make memories we’ll cherish for a lifetime. Sometimes an author, a business leader, or researcher will knock the edges off my thinking while I listen to a podcast or contemplate a powerful TED talk. Sometimes, I’m grateful for my little car and the space it gives me to dream, and wonder, and grow.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      This brings to mind so many car memories of my own, and I can relate to all your delicious details. I loved this “Sometimes” and I can relate to it. I kind of want to see the car! (What color is it? What year?) GREAT writing, wonderful tone.

      • Tenille Shade
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Gayle, thanks for the positive feedback. I think I could probably add a few more descriptive details, but I decided to dive in and just publish something. My car is a 2013 Honda Civic. I traded my Ford Edge a few years ago, attempting to downsize so we could travel more. I kind of miss the space, but our road trips are even more cozy now. Super excited to be joining this blogging community.

    • Kerri Schegan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      What a great idea for a place! I love when driving alone in my car, belting out a song or letting my mind just think quietly. What a great piece!

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      My car is my thinking place too, especially after a crazy busy day at school. I love the image of you blasting the music and belting out the song lyrics. Perfect!

  13. Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    I keep reading these and looking for a “Like” button – they are all so fresh and sharp and wonderful! Thanks for being the brave souls who share first thing in the morning to get us started!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      I’ve had the same reaction, Kate. We need a LIKE button here–or possibly a FABULOUS button.

      I’m excited to see how each writer grows this summer. : )

  14. Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Sometimes on a deserted beach on Daufuskie Island
    you’ll feel your heart slow down.

    The quiet of that comes from
    the absence of people,
    cars,
    life.

    And yet, life is present.
    Hearing seagulls cries.
    Wind through tall grasses.
    Waves crashing on the shore.

    The smell of salt in the air.
    The feel of wind through my hair.
    The peace coursing through my body.
    Home.

    • Kathleen Armstrong
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Katherine, your images bring back so many memories for me. All those summers spent in the low country. There is nothing like it. I can almost smell it.

    • Laura Crawford
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      My favorite place as well. Beautiful.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Katherine,
      You make me long for time by water. Your details and pacing are gorgeous.

  15. Deb
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, I hear the hoo-hoooo of the first mourning dove of the morning. I step out on the deck and smell the salty, briny tang of the gulf on the breeze. It’s my favorite smell. I hear the crunching of the coquina beneath their feet as little ones gleefully pull their mom and their dad to the beach. The mom and the dad are giddy too but slower because of their burden of chairs, buckets, shovels, tubes, coolers – the necessary beach paraphernalia. I’ll join them on the beach soon but I enjoy savoring the happy sounds of another summer day beginning.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      I can see, taste, and smell your image. I’m right there on the beach.

  16. Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in my Honda Civic, I turn the music up too loud and belt out the lyrics to Don’t Stop Believing by Journey. Sometimes I replay conversations from the day, worrying if the problems at school are too big to solve. Sometimes an idea hits me square in the head, and I pull over to write it down or record it on my IPhone. Sometimes my husband and bonus kiddos load down the trunk and head out on the highway with books in tow, ready to make memories we’ll cherish for a lifetime. Sometimes an author, a business leader, or researcher will knock the edges off my thinking while I listen to a podcast or contemplate a powerful TED talk. Sometimes, I’m grateful for my little car and the space it gives me to dream, and wonder, and grow.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I love your contrast here – the idea of a little car providing big space… so neat.

  17. Erika Victor
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Well, as my morning happens before yours I have decided that I will try to write twice a day- in the morning during breakfast and later after the prompt/mini lesson comes out.
    Part I today was a semi list of “today I’ll try…”. Round 2 found me in my kitchen and brought up my feelings of loneliness in a kitchen that used to barely contain myself and my two sons. Now that they are both in the next stage of their life- one at university and one already finished, they do not live at home. Now the kitchen feels lonely. I wrote about how the purpose has changed and how the quiet gives me time and a push to think about my next move.
    Considering I am not someone who writes regularly, but thinks a lot, both entries were put on paper quickly.
    Thanks, Kate!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      I’ll try to post a bit earlier – I actually had these scheduled for 3am EST but there’s a glitch with WordPress scheduling that my web guy is trying to fix, so I’ve had to re-post when I wake up each day. If it keeps up, I’ll start putting them up at night so you have them sooner.

  18. Gretchen
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I sit and wonder if the fear will ever leave. There is always the thought “could it happen again?” Will the officers come and take him again? Then how will I feel? Will my chest crumble into my bones fracturing pieces of my heart …again? Will I be able to breathe this time? Will I able to numbly fumble through the days pretending , denying, slogging through the murky minutes of my life? It is so hard to hear when your own heartbeat echoes so profoundly, insistently. How will I wrestle the worry away? It can’t happen again

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      So real. So moving.

      • Gretchen
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        thanks! my first post ever.

    • Kerri Schegan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      I’m so intrigued! I feel the emotions even if I don’t know the whole story yet.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      This is haunting and beautiful – thanks for sharing it. It’s important for us to remember that descriptive writing isn’t always beach/sunset material.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      Your piece is gripping, and heart-wrenching. Reading it was like having a friend slowly reveal a deep secret for the first time. It wasn’t what I expected to hear and my stomach clenched a bit. My attention was riveted on this scene.

  19. Anne Clark
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, when I stand in the brightly lit, white on white room with a VanGogh in front of me, or a Gaugin, I long to touch the brushy swirls and feel those bumpy little heaps of gold or wheat . In the quiet, I move closer and closer to gaze at the strokes until I lose the composition, just sensing color layering color. My nose is so close, I hear the guards shift and take notice. Then I step back tiptoe by tiptoe, slowly taking in the one flower, then the next until the whole tableau is revealed. I sigh, soulfilled, and move on to the next.

    • Martie Hoofer
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Lovely!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      It’s so tempting, that sensual mash of paint and passion on the canvas. I can stare at a Renoir for hours. Thanks for taking me into a memory of Sunflowers in a museum in Dublin.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Love this – I always want to touch everything, too. I got yelled at for breathing on a Monet once.

    • Anne Clark
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for the feed back, Marty, Jenny and Kate.

    • Kristin Russo
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      I, too, was drawn in to the colors on the canvas until “I heard the guards shift and took notice.” The pacing here achieves something so difficult – rich and deep description embedded with suspenseful action. Love it!

      • Anne Clark
        Posted June 26, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        Wow. I never would have pulled that out of there. Thanks, Kristin!

  20. Martie Hoofer
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, on an Hawaiian snorkeling beach…
    The waves do more than silently lap the chunky lava.
    One will sneak past the breakwater and smash loudly into the shore.

    Sometimes, on an Hawaiian snorkeling beach,
    The fish will glide silently and gently past
    While others barge right up to ask “what’s up?”

    Sometimes, on an Hawaiian snorkeling beach,
    The sea turtle will lounge a comfortable distance away
    Then 1 appears from no where causing you to jump!

    Sometimes, on an Hawaiian snorkeling beach,
    The fresh smell of the sea is overtaken by humans and sunscreen
    While under the sea, the clear warm water is the only scent you need.

    • Kerri Schegan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      How pretty! I like how each little paragraph/verse contains a contrast. I\’ve never been to Hawaii, but I could see it while reading your piece!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Love the personified fish!

  21. Kerri Schegan
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I’m Kerri and I’m doing Teacher’s Write for the first time this summer! My quick-write was truly quick and in rough form – I haven’t edited or revised at all. However, this memory has been playing in my mind all summer, and I was so excited to have a chance to get it out!

    Sometimes, when you’re ten years old, rollerskating up and down your grandmother’s sidewalk, the monotonous click-click of the skates on the sidewalk is broken up by another sound. You slow to a stop and listen carefully. At first, the tinny music fades in and out as it is overcome by the sounds of traffic. But then, the notes grow stronger, and you feel your heart start to beat just a little harder.
    The ice cream truck is alluring for so many reasons. Once you hear those bells ringing, your senses are on alert. Your ears strain to hear which direction the sound is coming from, and your brain begins to calculate how far away the truck must be. Will you have enough time to get in the house, beg for money, and get back outside before that truck full of tasty treats passes by?
    Immediately, you begin speed skating the four house-lengths back to Grammy’s house. You fall once, skinning your knee on the white concrete sidewalk, but you don’t even stop to wipe the blood away. You grip the railing and hop up the three steps to the front door, hollering like you’ve witnessed a murder. “Graaaaaamy! Graaaaamy! Can I please have money for the ice cream truck????” Of course, Grammy says yes! The bills are barely in your hand before you tear back out to the sidewalk – just in time!
    The blue and white truck is only two houses away! You rush to the edge of the sidewalk, and the truck pulls over. There is something beautiful about chocolate and vanilla ice cream perfectly twisted into a beautiful mound and decorated with rainbow sprinkles. The smooth creaminess of the ice cream paired with the satisfying crunch of the sprinkles is the stuff memories are made of. Some day, when you are thirty years old, you will hear those bells or crunch into those sprinkles, and you will remember fondly a scar on your left knee, the click-click of roller skates on the sidewalk….and Grammy.

    • Tammy Petty Conrad
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Loved it! Many of us can relate to the coming of the ice cream truck. You put us back in our childhood. Thanks!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      I adore your last sentence. The ellipses creates awesome emphasis on “Grammy.”

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      My knees can relate to this post. Ouch! I love your description of the ice cream.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      The last line is perfect! As are so many of the details- the sound of your skates on the sidewalk, not stopping to wipe off the blood. And I still love that tinny sound of the ice cream truck!

  22. Merrill Geier
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    This was a great prompt! I just wrote and wrote and wrote,but here\’s an excerpt.

    I wake with the quilt covering my shoulders. It is hard to imagine that there could be a reason to use it since last night it was so hot and close. Then I lay in bed, very late, listening to the drone of the old fan, oscillating on its metal stand. There was the delicious moment when the breeze moved across my body as I lay perfectly still, waiting. First from left to right, then from right to left. Then it was gone for a few agonizing seconds, only to return again, bringing two or three seconds of blissful relief. Sure, I could have walked across the room, aimed the fan at the bed, then pulled the little knob at the back of the wire cage that surrounds the blades, but I don’t know, I sort of like the anticipation of the breeze. I can count on it, you know? No matter what, unless the power goes out, it’s going to show up right when it should.
    But now it’s dawn and the breeze, instead of relief from the heat, is a little chilly. I like that, too. I love the sound of the droning, and I love snuggling under the quilt and looking around the room as the light begins to push back the shadows, returning the daylight colors to the room. There are the yellow walls, looking as if they’ve been soaking up sunlight for decades. The curtains in the three screened windows billow a little when the fan crosses them, making the deep salmon pink checks undulate like waves. The Giant rickrack marches across the hemline like a friendly grass green inchworm, and from it sprout flowers in varying shades of blue and yellow. The curtains always make me smile all the way up to the top of my head, even into my brain. That’s what color does for me, it makes my brain smile.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Such great details!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      I love the enjoyment, the anticipation of the fan’s arrival, so predictable and stable!

  23. Ann O'Hare
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The salty smell in the air gently pulls you in as you head for the drawbridge in to town. Watch out for turtles trying to cross the road as cars whiz by. The water shimmers like glass as sailboats and kayaks glide along. The loud voice of the seagull calls a welcome back. You can’t wait to unpack to get to the beach.You long for the crash of the waves to soothe your tired soul.You truly feel like you are HOME.

    • Julie Kelly
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Have you started the countdown to visiting?

      • Ann O'Hare
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        33 days til I can get there…..

  24. Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Sometimes on the steamline trail I can feel the ground tremble when a freight train passes on the ridge above. Then I have to make my way on the mulch-strewn, uneven path along the rusted metal struts and winding pipe, thick and coiled as a snake. Spiderwort blooms poke their purple faces through bristly scrub and the Nashua River sings over stones, rushing past the defunct mills with their crumbling foundations.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I’m so loving the variety of these posts today – so many places that matter to us in different ways!

    • Anne Clark
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      “Spiderwort blooms poke their purple faces through bristly scrub and the Nashua River sings over stones…” I wanted to compliment you on your snakey simile and your river metaphor (which are awesome!), but it’s the spiderwort poking their purple faces that paints the picture in my mind. Lovely. writing.

  25. Brian R
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, in the grocery store, I get lost. I do fine collecting staples like cereal and milk, a loaf of bread, savory sandwich meat, whatever fruits and vegetables happen to be on sale. Then, my focus unravels. I don’t have a list. My only direction is what’s in my plastic basket. (See, I take a basket instead of a cart to limit the damage; I can only take what I can carry on my arm.) I now try to jigsaw together meals, using the pieces I’ve already gathered. Hmmm… two fresh ears of corn… I could grill some fish with those, so I dart to the seafood department. Moments later, I’ve discovered all the offerings look picked over – dusty, shrink-wrapped remains floating in milky liquid that stinks of low tide and ammonia. That’s what I get for living in a landlocked state. Hmmm… I peruse my basket again. I notice the head of romaine lettuce next to the corn, and I realize I can improvise a taco salad if I add black beans, cheddar cheese, avocados, red onions, and tortillas. I bounce back to the produce section for a few supplements, only to find the avocados all harder than lacrosse balls. Of course, I could leave one on the counter for a few days of ripening, or… I could head for the bulk bins, get a few scoops of polenta, into which I’ll fold the corn kernels, and then top that sunny base with a pungent puttanesca sauce, spiked with chili flakes and capers (since my wife won’t abide olives after a formative experience in an Israeli cannery). My brain is buzzing, my path through the market is becoming the dotted-line tangle from Family Circus, and then a few wisps of guitar from the overhead speakers penetrate my thoughts. It’ the Eagles, “Hotel Calfornia.” Apparently, I can check out, but I can never leave.

    • Julie Burchstead
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Brian,
      Your piece made me laugh out loud. Loved it! Mind chatter can make a fertile ground for story telling! Excellent ending as well.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Oh!! I have been in this same store, I know I have! Thanks for vividly taking us into your shoping world. I could taste each food you planned on the fly.

    • Megan Bayrd
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      I always notice the grocery store music, too! Each store seems stuck on emotional 70s pop/rock.

    • Carolyn del Rio
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Loved this! I can totally relate, especially to the classic Eagles line.

    • Kerri Schegan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      I, too, laughed out loud while reading. I loved the line, “Since my wife won’t abide olives after a formative experience in an Israeli cannery.” I also loved the ending!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      Hysterical! I’ve done this so many times…

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Brian,
      Like several others have said, your piece made me laugh! I can so, so, so relate to those wild Family Circus grocery store wanderings! Except my meals are not nearly as gourmet as yours!

  26. Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, as I am reading in my rocking chair on my front porch, I get distracted by what’s around me.

    It could be the sound of the hummingbird coming to get a drink of nectar from the feeder or from the flowers.

    The wind blowing through my ferns rustling the leaves.

    The colors of the flowers dancing in the wind calls for my attention. The soft purples and yellows of the columbine, the pinks and white of the impatiens, the deep purples of the morning glory.

    The sound of cars passing or people talking as they stroll pass.

    And as the light starts to diminish, more insects start to call out to each other. This is my cue that it’s about time to head inside.

    • Amy B.
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Lovely.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      This is lovely – and “The sound of the hummingbird” sounds like a book title to me.

  27. Julie Burchstead
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Sleep

    Sometimes sleep is hard to surrender.

    At the first twitter of birds

    Lingering night chill

    Making soft covers still welcome

    I pull them still closer and snuggle in.

    Sometimes sleep is hard to surrender.

    At the break of a day

    When silk cobwebs of dreams

    yet entwine around my head

    Weightless I fly, almost there! but then

    The vision soon fogs

    Sweat beads at my neck

    At the patter of Herb’s shower

    I arise.

    • Tammy Petty Conrad
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I like how sometimes became a refrain.

    • Julie Kelly
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Surrender is a powerful way to describe the process of sleep, whether it is in going to sleep or the difficulty in waking up.

  28. Stacey Pollock
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in the early morning,
    just as the sun is rising,
    birds are chirping,
    water is rippling,
    fresh air fills your lungs with each breath.
    A cool breeze rustles the trees,
    happiness settles on your face,
    as you remark:
    Summer is here!!

    • Stacy
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Amen, Stacey! Summer is here and your words tug at my heart…love summer time.

  29. khontz
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The sensual presentation of this prompt caused me to break out the colored markers and in my writer’s notebook one will find an illustrated page which demonstrates my “sometimes” on my front porch where I ….

    HEAR
    * birds waking and nesting
    * bees buzzing
    * cars and trucks driving
    * rosters crowing

    SEE
    * ripe foliage, so green
    * Mr. & Mrs. cardinal, in their various hues of red
    * soft blooming flowers in yellow and orange
    * gentle sunlight rays in pale pinks

    SMELL
    * steaks neighbors have barbqued
    * fields farmers have recently fertilized
    * honeysuckle recently picked
    * lilacs that have just bloomed

    TASTE
    * lemons – so tart
    * watermelon – so juicy
    * strawberries – so ripe
    * ice tea – so sweet

    FEEL
    * release
    * comfort
    * love
    * at home

    • Kim Higdon
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      This would be a great exercise for a writing class–I like it!

      • Connie
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        I agree and this is something my first graders could understand and learn.

  30. Laura Crawford
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the inspiration.

    Sometimes on the sand
    before the light
    reveals its full self
    I can hear God.
    Rolling waves invite me
    Hypnotize me
    Like monks chanting a prayer
    Subtle and beautiful
    The breeze encircles me
    inviting me into its arms.
    Joy rises up from the dark places
    in my soul
    Peace descends
    A veil draped over me
    Fragile and easily torn
    I anchor myself
    at the edge of the earth.
    Feet tucked into sand
    unable to move forth or go back.
    He has me all to himself.

    • Tammy Petty Conrad
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Lovely!

    • Patti Ludwig
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Beautiful witness.

  31. Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Playing with ideas from yesterday’s ride around Mackinac Island:

    Sometimes by the lake in June
    the wind blows mist off the water
    and beads of water as delicate as spun sugar
    dance in the air.
    If you turn your face toward the horizon
    and smile into the sun
    you’ll catch the glittery twirl and dip of water on wind’s arm.

    • Kim Higdon
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      I really like the phrase “glittery twirl and dip”–it has a playful sound to it.

  32. Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Kate! I opened my journal to write and realized I had started a piece with a similar feel, but using “did you ever…” I used that fragment to start myself off:
    Did you ever hear
    The breathy sizzle Of barnacles on
    The piling as you pass?
    Did you ever feel
    Startled by the crunch
    When mussel shells
    Discarded by a gull
    Break beneath your feet?
    Sometimes I feel the boat rocking beneath me even after I’ve left it, come home from walking the docks, dreaming of sails, planning small adventures.
    Sometimes I revel in tightening a line, snapping a shackle, snubbing off on a cleat.
    I feel my back muscles tighten for work as I plant my feet on the bulkhead and haul on the sheet, watching, waiting, for the sail to luff, to sag, so I can haul again, to help us come about, salt spray hitting my lips, fresh sea, cool on my face.

    • Andy Starowicz
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Awesome description, Valerie! I am in Syracuse, NY – no ocean around, so I put on a CD with ocean waves, lit a candle that is supposed to smell like the beach, and the kids and I are heading to the sand box. Thanks for sharing!

  33. Megan Bayrd
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Somtimes, in the darkened children’s room,
    the children are
    asleep.
    In that quiet moment,
    the spilled toys,
    stained clothing,
    past-their-prime diapers,
    and exhausting day
    don’t matter.
    It’s then that you
    kiss their sweet faces
    and tiptoe from the room.

    • Patti Ludwig
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      I remember these times! Thank you for bringing them back!

    • Kristie
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I could feel the ‘sigh’ of relief..that exhale from your poem. Enjoyed it!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      This made me cry. I am visiting colleges with my “baby” next week.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      This piece made me cry too! I am sending my youngest to college in January. And already missing him. Time goes way too fast!

  34. Lisa Keeler
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Sometimes at the cottage in summer
    I raise my head from the pillow and look out to sunlight stars dancing on waves and I see fishermen tying up to moorings, their catch resting in coolers on the boat’s bow.
    As I lay back for a moment while the house is still sleeping, I hear the water lapping at rocks and halyards and shackles clinking against masts and the steady beat of a runner’s feet moving up the grassy path outside my window.

    • Kerri Schegan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      I love the term “sunlight stars.” Beautiful!

  35. Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Sometimes near the lake
    cardinals flirt,
    flickers of red darting,clicking.
    You’ll hear the honks of Canada geese
    in a gaggle on the shore
    pecking grass.
    There is the great white egret
    sailing above the water
    reflecting a shimmer of sparkling sun-kiss.
    Sometimes, the tingle of the wind chime
    whispers softly, “I love you.”

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      I love he imagery of the cardinals flirting, then the rapid-fire verbs that mirror teir movement (flickering, daring). A lovely snippet. Thank you for sharing!

  36. jason gottlieb
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Sometimes it just is sometimes. Although in my confident self, I’d rather it be often or consistent, it doesn’t work out that way. Sometimes is actually fine.
    Sometimes I’d like to be more compassionate.
    Sometimes I’d like to walk rather than drive.
    Sometimes I’d like to spend more time reading books than emails.
    Sometimes I’d like to kiss and hug my sons more often.
    Sometimes I’d like not to ache as much when I wake up in the morning.
    Sometimes I’d rather skip work and go play.

    Do you sometimes?

    Sometimes is okay!

    • Kim Higdon
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      I like this–I like reading about life–and I connected to this–I think it would be cool to just end with the question–it gets the reader thinking. Thank you for sharing!

  37. Andy Starowicz
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, reality doesn’t meet the expectations.
    Sometimes, dreams become reality.
    Sometimes, reality sparks an idea.

    Sometimes, ideas are imagined in the wildest places.
    Sometimes, wondering leads to ideas.
    Sometimes, ideas become a story.

    Sometimes, a story is easy to tell.
    Sometimes, obstacles get in the way of telling a story.
    Sometimes, a story becomes reality.

    Sometimes…

    *Sometimes, I think about how lucky I am that I found TeachersWrite:). Enjoy the day of reading and writing!

  38. Patti Ludwig
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Sometimes the treatment room is quiet,
    Nurses speaking with their eyes
    Anticipating the beeping machines, quieting them quickly.
    Effortlessly administering the poisons, quiet calm hands,
    Tugging, pushing, patting.
    The work is routine.
    Now the drugs coursing through the river in my veins allow me to slip away.
    The whooshing of the pumps carries me to the beach where the morning waves brush the shore,
    The soft moaning of the patient next to me gets lost in the ocean breeze, and the cries of the sleek white ocean birds overpower the never ending beeping machines as they dart from water to sand.
    My body is soothed by the warmth of the sun as yet another warmed blanket is draped over my shoulders as I drift on the sounds of the chemo induced ocean.
    For awhile my ravaged body is calm and quiet and at peace because my mind is strong
    And I am safe at the ocean.
    I am free.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      So powerful. I have many friends going through chemo. This blends the pain and peace in such a comforting way.

    • Halee B
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Loved this

    • Michelle O'Brien
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Stunning

    • Amy B.
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Really transporting. Thank you for sharing.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      This is beautiful – I love the way the hospital and ocean imagery are equally powerful.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      The strength that you display to “lose yourself” in the ocean is wonderful!

    • Michelle A
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      This is powerful…the line I like most is Nurse speak with their eyes…

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      The rhythms of this felt like they perfectly matched the words – I felt deeply moved as I read it.

  39. Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Sometimes when I look out at the curve of the creek in this foreign land, I remember that peace exists someplace. I sit with these once strange people, who are now my family, on the wooden deck, captivated by the perfect shape of the water and the just right slant of the sun rays. I fall into their pattern of reading alternating with feeding the squirrels and watching the hummingbirds. It’s not vacations I remember as a child–Palm Springs, Newport Beach, Yosemite. It’s homey if not my home, and I get to share a bit of borrowed serenity.

    • Anne Clark
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Diane, your writing raises such questions in my mind! Where is she? Who are these strangers/family? It makes me want to read more!

  40. Tammy Petty Conrad
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in yoga class I feel free from me.
    Free to be someone else, skinny and young again.
    In the dancer pose I am graceful, a would-be ballerina.
    Degas would beg to paint me just before my toe touches back down.
    In plank, I’m the fierce athlete who can do anything, even score the winning goal. My body works together to bring me slowly to the mat and back up again.
    I have found a place to be free from restraint, both in body and mind.
    I barely hear the soft spoken yogi as I flow through the movements, only noticing the softness of the mat as my feet cling to it for stability.
    Always I am grateful for this holy time.

    • Katie Hoffman
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      I love this! I feel the same way in yoga…no matter how silly I might actually look, I feel like I look graceful and powerful, and that\’s all that really matters. 🙂

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      I love the idea of becoming someone else while still being you. Funny, though…I feel the opposite during yoga…weak and awkward. 🙂

  41. Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Given that photography is my true passion, I wish I could post the photograph that goes with this….

    Twist, click, set
    My left arm feels the weight of anticipation
    With the gentle tension of my index finger
    Clouds of color deepen
    The image reveals itself
    Heart racing, ankles steadying, I trust my intuition
    Micromovements in milliseconds
    Risk evaluation in a trice
    I capture a moment in time

    • Patti Ludwig
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Because I love photography too, I understand this capture well!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      This feels taught and delightfully tense to me.

  42. Kristin Russo
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, when I’m on the couch in the living room resting my tired eyes and my throbbing head, surrounded by the soothing pale greens and dark blues with which I have decorated my pretty room, my teenage son will come in to tell me that he has invited a girl to a movie and his feet smell. One might find these two pieces of information unrelated, but I know that it means he wants to go to Famous Footwear on the way to the movie theater to buy a new pair of sneakers that presumably do not smell, or at least do not smell bad. I tell him he can forget it, but I know that at the last minute, I will pull in to the shoe store and buy him new sneakers that will fit him for about ten minutes (because there seems to be no end to his growth spurts) but will certainly smell bad before he outgrows them. This is because when I was young, my mom bought me a new outfit before I went out on a first date with a new guy, and I honor this tradition because it was a really nice thing to do.

    • Anne Clark
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      I love that this piece is so honest. I always connect with writers that are real, and your line about telling him to forget it (but later going back on it!) is as real as you can get. I enjoyed this tiny story very much.

      • Kristin Russo
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Anne. What a wonderful compliment. 🙂

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      I love the juxtaposition of the sensory images!

      • Kristin Russo
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Gayle!

  43. Mara
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Tuesday quick write
    Feelings rush through my veins as the caffeine takes hold. Most early thoughts are about special needs… Every child has them… Todays children with special needs rotate through my mind like a Rolodex preparing my thoughts for the day.. Teaching is secondary, maybe thirdary.. Like the cream smoothing out my dark endless cup. 
    Routine, laughter, safety… Things I will provide no matter what.. Johnny’s dog died, hope he’s feeling better today. Not sure what’s going on with Susan, nervous for her and her family, though don’t know why. Jill just hasnt been herself lately, grade slowly slipping. check. 
    As we all cross the threshold of learning on a daily basis our life patterns also cross. We are a “community” or one big dysfunctional family as I like to think.
    My own family will be waking soon. My three children’s needs go on my list… Towards the back unfortunately as they get older, the focus on my students gets stronger. Not sure if that is good or bad.. 

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Mara,
      I am a parent of a “special needs” child. I am an educator who works mostly with typical children. I vehemently agree with what you said, and say it myself: Whose needs are not special?! But also I have to say that I thank all good special education teachers from the bottom of my heart.

  44. Kristie
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Standing incomplete, a southern white farmhouse
    Without a front porch swing
    Hung during the most difficult time of my life
    Quiet solitude finally found
    Crafted from nature, built to be strong
    Enduring the test of time
    Linked together like the connection of chains
    Memories, people, places
    Pondering of thoughts, weighing decisions
    A place of meditation
    Talking with loved ones; at times silly laughter
    Time, please hold still
    Renewing breezes; comforting warmth of a quilt
    Witness of seasonal changes
    Moving from past to present towards future
    All in steady like motion
    Standing complete, a southern white farmhouse
    Hangs a front porch swing

    • Amy B.
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Love how your piece circles back on itself. Thank you for sharing.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

      I, too, like the circle. Also I love a front porch with a swing, so much.

  45. ShyrlAnn
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, at Whitefish Point,
    I see a freighter trudging by,
    Wondering who is on it, what load weighs it down, and where it’s headed.
    Sometimes, at Whitefish Point,
    I hear the waves softly lapping at the beach as tourists brave the icy water off the point,
    Knowing that sometimes the waves crash angrily at the shore as if to remind us of all the death and destruction lying beneath the surface of the water.
    Sometimes, I feel a gentle breeze, the touch of a thousand years, on my face as I play with my kids in the sand,
    Smiling because it’s warm enough to skip the oft-needed jacket.
    Sometimes, I feel the ghosts of the crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald, as I stare at the homemade memorials to them,
    Wishing that I could bring them all back.

    • Andrea Payan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      I feel this same way when I stand at the shore in South Shore park. I love the imagery in your writing.

  46. Rachel Martin
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I sit and think of what has happened and what will be. How will the past and the future affect each other. Sometimes events happen in complete parallel, two people living their lives doing the same things in different ways , getting the same results, wishing for the same thing. When suddenly their paths collide and they have to figure out if their pasts and their presents can mesh together so they can have a future together. Sometimes the past events and happenings of 1 persons life are too much for another to handle, they can’t see past a persons past. Sometimes people forget that a persons past is the 1 thing you can never change. Sometimes a person can grapple with 1 persons past and decide they can see a future with that person, but sometimes your past haunts you and that person sometimes brings it up at the most hurtful moments, not even realizing how it is affecting you that they sometimes do that.

    Sometimes I sit and wonder how and why things happen in the way they do, what is the point, what is the purpose, it is not till I come full circle do I realize they hows and whys.
    Sometimes our past is simply the events that have already happened, and sometimes our past is what shapes our present.

  47. Darla Sampley
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in my living room there is peace because I am the only one awake. A cup of steaming hot coffee with a hint of hazelnut and cream keeps me warm as the cool breeze from the ceiling fan gently kisses my skin. The bright morning sunlight is trying to sneak past the swaying Venetian blinds. I savor this moment of quiet because I know the chaos will soon begin as the kids awaken from their slumber.

    • Megan Bayrd
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I hear you! I wrote about a very similar scene, except my peaceful time/place is after bedtime, rather than in the morning.

  48. Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in a bustling grocery store,
    in the heart of New York City, lives converge into one space. Problems, tragedies, celebrations of lives coalesce.
    Fresh market cheese and olives paint the panorama.
    All in one place.
    Sitting in the corner, a couple waits for hours sampling the flavor at a table.
    Taking in these New York lives, these New York flavors
    In jam packed images
    People, food,
    To bring back to Michigan.

    • Stephanie Bader
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      New York flavors is right. I savor them long after I have left the city, too.

  49. Kim Higdon
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, bobbing in the ocean

    I see the endless stretch of bluey-brown water: What if I floated out there into that endless stretch?

    I feel the tingle of excitement/fear when dolphins frolic nearby: Are those REALLY dolphins?

    I taste the salt and slight fishy taste on my skin: Am I licking fish poop?

    I feel the water hold me up, weightless, like an astronaut: OMG is that seeweed that just brushed agains my leg?????

    Sometimes, lying on the sandy beach…

    • Anne Clark
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      I love the bluey-brown! I know exactly when the ocean looks like that! And the fishy remarks–love your humor!

  50. Lisa Crew
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, in the city of Ashland, history comes alive on the boards of the outdoor stage. When the heat of the day slips away and the sky darkens to a star-sprinkled black, Shakespeare’s poetry resounds in the thrum of melodic voices. The whine of traffic on the street and the insistent quacking of ducks in the thousand acre park momentarily distract the ear. Overhead swallows converge in playful swoops and moths challenge the lights like reckless heroes. My gaze is drawn back to the stage where the field at Agincourt, a tempest-tossed ship, or a balcony in Verona unfold before my eyes.

    • Kristin Russo
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      I was just told by a friend that I must visit Ashland, a city I’d never heard of before. Your lovely writing piece has sealed the deal. Ashland goes on my list of places I must visit. Thank you!

      • Lisa Crew
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Ashland is a beautiful place. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival provides world-class productions on three separate stages every year from February through October. If you love Shakespeare, you shouldn’t miss it. In addition, the town is nestled in an area of Oregon rich with all sorts of outdoor attractions. Hiking, biking, white-water rafting (skiing in winter) are all available within a few miles of the theatres. There’s a terrific independent bookstore called Bloomsbury and a wide variety of delectable restaurants. Each summer, the Festival has a class called Shakespeare on Stage which gives teachers practical and fun lesson plan ideas for bringing Shakespeare to life for students. One of the extra perks of the class: tickets to Festival productions. Needless to say, I’m a fan. 

        • Kristin Russo
          Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          What serendipity! The MG novel I’m working on features many allusions to Macbeth in a story about treachery and betrayal among high schoolers. Shakespeare is very much on my mind these days. Ashland sounds wonderful!

  51. Stacy
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in my living room
    I feel the most fulfilled
    With my children sitting near,
    My husband close,
    My cat on my lap,
    And my heart besting with content.

    My family dissolves the stresses of the day.
    I hear their voices, and their laughter which melts away my worries.

    My living room is my sanctuary…
    A place where I hear the joys of life,
    Where I see the beauty of family,
    Where I feel most loved.

  52. Kristin Russo
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Quick question: Am I the only one with a pencil and a scratch pad so that I can do the math problems before I submit a post? Without visual help, I simply cannot carry the one.

    • Amy B.
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes…
      Sometimes when I have to do the math problem before submitting a post, I have to count on my fingers.

      {No, you’re not the only one}

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:44 am | Permalink

      Haha! I just tweeted something similar about how I feel my math is being stretched just as much as my writing!

  53. Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    This is my favorite time. A time during the summer when I am alone in my house, when everything is tidy, when I can hear the swoosh of the cars going by and watch the white ghost of the curtains wave in and out at the windows, when I have good coffee with lots of creamer, when I give myself time to write and to read.

  54. Katie Hoffman
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Great quick-write! Mine turned into a list that I think I will work into a poem. Here are a few tidbits:

    I hear bullfrogs bur-rupping in the weeds.
    At night, crickets and other critters creating a cacophony of noise so loud, yet lulling me to sleep.
    I see satellites drifting through the night sky.
    Scattered bits of fun: a bike, baseball glove, a shovel and pail.
    I taste the crunch, goo, and smoke of s’mores.
    I feel in the moment.

  55. Benjie
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Sometimes,
    sitting alone on my porch,
    listening to the chatter of the birds and the inconsistent hum of cars in the distance,
    looking out at the rose bushes — so full of life, so beautiful,
    the rippling of the leaves on the trees,
    I feel renewed,
    hopeful,
    and not so alone.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      I love the listening you did in this quick write!

  56. Jennifer Kraar
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Morning Shoreline
    Draft 6/25/13

    Waking up at 6 a.m. to walk the beach has its benefits.

    Solitariness.

    Soothing sounds of shhhhhhh punctuated by low, slow crashing crescendos,
    Clouds, sketchy white lines not organized enough to be puffy.
    Dune grass that looks like porcupine quills against the sky and clings, hugging the mounds.
    Grey green water reaches as far as I can see- capped by foamy, ever moving white waves.
    Shoreline waves wake up my toes, the creamy foam tickles.
    Islands of skimming bubbles dot the beach along with clumps of sea grass.

    Pelicans glide in graceful formation,
    One darts like an arrow piercing the water, seeking a fish.
    Prey caught in its bill, the pelican awkwardly flaps, bobs on the waves and swallows his catch in jerky gulps.

    Daily my constant shadow and I take note, then
    Reluctantly turning my back, I return for breakfast.

    • Stephanie Bader
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Thank you for transporting me to this peaceful place!

  57. Stephanie Bader
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, in a piazza in Rome, the late afternoon light slips between the crowded buildings and rests on marble, wet from splashing fountain water. Violet and hot pink blooms drip from flower boxes hung on rod iron balcony banisters–more spring from giant clay posts that edge the cobblestone ellipse.

    Look there–
    an old woman huddles beneath the massive, green doors of Sant’Agnese and holds out her plastic cup hopefully to passersby;

    a bearded man in a tan vest, speckled with oil paints, carefully places strokes on his canvas;

    a slender girl struts across the piazza in stilettos–she gasps, then giggles, looking over her shoulder to find one hell wedged in the space between two cobblestones.

    See that?–
    Pistachio gelato melts in a wafer-thin cone and olive oil stains a thin napkin wrapped around a rectangle of margherita pizza.

    Listen to the notes of the accordion waft through the crowd.

    Hear the silk syllables of Italian mix with English and German and French.

    I bring the fork to my mouth, taste the heat of the red pepper flakes in my penne arrabbiata.

    A deep breath in. The aroma of tomatoes and semolina and cigarette smoke (slowly curling toward me from the adjacent table.) A sip of wine.

    I am home.

    • Jennifer Kraar
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      I like your phrasing – : “silk syllables of Italian mix with English and German and French” and
      “The aroma of tomatoes and semolina and cigarette smoke (slowly curling)” words that just beg to be read aloud. Fantastic!

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        I love your transitions: “See that?” “Look there.” You brought me back to when I visited Italy, so I connected with your story!

  58. Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I wander in and out of doors in my house, puttering from this task to that one, solving this dilemma and possibly stirring up another, and for a moment, a secret smile might pass my lips. Because sometimes I can’t maintain the productive, trudging mindset without confessing at least to myself that my little modest home, nothing fancy, makes my heart quite content. Sometimes I realize that, amid undone piles and laundry run amok, in my house I have everything I ever wanted. I have in some ways less than my parents had, which is to say, I have more than they, with their ambitious and bitter fights, knew to dream. Sometimes I hear my children reading aloud, smell the meal my husband is cooking, see the hummingbirds feeding on the birds of paradise out my window, and I feel the undeniable wellspring of gratitude, and try not to fear the joy.

    • Kristin Russo
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Isn’t it so hard not to fear the joy? I love how you phrased that. 🙂

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        I’m really trying hard to focus on the positive in things. I want this effort to extend to my writing. I have been too glass-half-empty in much of writing life, writing about challenges all of the time. I am a “special needs” mom (my nine-year old has autism, my seven-year-old is typical), and I feel like I grew up with special needs parents! (My parents had many issues, and had a very volatile divorce when I was ten.) I don’t want to avoid them as topics, especially because I find it valuable to write about them, but experiencing and describing hard things does not have to be all morose and miserable. I am working on it, anyway!

        • Kristin Russo
          Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          I think you have definitely achieved your goal here of a positive but realistic writing voice. This sketch is anything but morose, but it reveals a sense of deep appreciation to which your reader easily connects. I really loved it.

    • Patti Ludwig
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      I remember going to dinner at Pizza Hut with my children and husband. While I was there I had an overwhelming feeling of joy because of the fact that our family was so simply relaxed and happy. I fear the joy, knowing how fragile it can be. As a child I sensed it, but for me, it was always out of reach. You told this beautifully.

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        Thank you, Patti! The word “fragile” is exactly what has been on my mind.

  59. Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Sometimes within a steaming summer’s moment

    a cool breeze comes out of nowhere

    takes you up on it’s current

    and whisks you out of the everyday

    to a place where you feel free

    gliding on the strength of the unknown

    trusting in the direction that only nature knows

    Sometimes

    • Julie Kelly
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      You captured what sitting still for a moment brings.

  60. Kathryn M
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in the morning when I sit in my comfy chair in the nook off the kitchen sipping my sweet milky Bewley’s tea, I find myself gazing out the window at the deep purple petunias cascading from the planter boxes on the deck railing. I notice that my lavender plants, now in their second season, are finally starting to send up tall shoots of pale sweet-smelling lavender blooms. I watch the leaves of the surrounding forest turn and sway in a sudden summer breeze. I watch the hummingbirds swoop and dart as they stop at my window feeder for a drink. I marvel at their ever-beating little wings and their long sharp beaks as they reach deep into the sugar water.

    • Tenille Shade
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Your strong verbs like swoop and dart are my favorite. I feel like I am sitting in your comfy chair with you. Watching hummingbirds flutter is a treat! Thanks for sharing your writing with the world.

  61. Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Description is a highwire for me. I struggle in the balance between too much and too little. And “show, not tell” is always running through my mind, but not always through my words.

    Here’s my snippet:

    Sometimes nature can dull the pain
    A deep breath and I sink into the picture
    like the arms of a sympathetic mother
    Beds and canopies of vibrant green
    Embrace me, mute the harsh light, taste,
    And sound of the dentist’s work
    Thick trunks, erect like ghostly soldiers,
    Shrouded in the mist
    Warring factions divided
    By the sweetly crystal slip of water
    Over a crumpled blanket of smoothed stones
    Air tasting cool and ancient slows my heart
    A deep breath and I sink further
    Sometimes nature can steal you away from the pain

    The rest of my writing about this can be found on my blog: http://mojofingers.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-dentists-in-details-andersons-4th.html

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      The image of the trees as soldiers is amazing. I love it!

      • Justin Stygles
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Wow. Talk about being in the moment. Talk about owning a moment. stunning.

  62. Amanda Regan
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes at the lake in June, the past and the present intertwine.
    That same early morning air, infused with pine, fills my grateful lungs.
    Memories of footprints, much smaller than my own, guide me down familiar paths.
    And my heart expands with childlike wonder,
    As the clear blue waters, gently lapping against the pale rough sand, come into view.
    I am comforted that the strong mountains, rising high around the lake,
    Still stand guard after all these years,
    Reassuring me, in the midst of so much change,
    Some things really do stay the same.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      “Sometimes at the lake in June, the past and the present intertwine.” It’s amazing how that single sentence sketches out an image that my mind fills with setting details. This feels very, very familiar, and lovely.

  63. Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, in the Jemez Mountains in July, I can smell the undisturbed humid land, plants and trees in the deep forest that surrounds me. The sound of the river swishing and swashing, splashing against rocks and boulders is relaxing. The quiet wind makes the leaves and branches dance. The sunshine creeps through the passing clouds and trees. The heat of the sun on my face strengthens and I squint at the brightness of the nearby water flow. Birds call at each other, chirping and singing and then they fly across the sky in a pleasantly, beautiful place.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

      I love the way the first sentence sinks the reader right into the setting.

  64. Posted June 25, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes.. in those quiet moments,

    my heart nearly pounds out of my chest

    with love for my daughter.

    When playtime is done for the day,

    and she smells like lavender baby soap,

    and all she wants to do is snuggle.

    My heart melts as she gives me her award-winning, toothy grin,

    as she says, “I love you, Mommy!”

    We snuggle deep in the comfortable recliner,

    covering ourselves with a soft, warm blanket.

    As she settles in, she whispers,

    “Sing me a song. Sing me my song, please.”

    And she falls asleep to “Amazing Grace.”

    • Deb Lairson
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Enjoy your sweet snuggles with your sweet girl! I also sang “Amazing Grace” to my daughter as she drifted off to sleep. She is 17 now and leaving the next. Your writing really took me back and gave me that feeling of a snuggle. Thank you!

  65. Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Hello, fellow writers,
    I am happy to post my take on the prompt.

    Sometimes,
    in my car, alone with CBC,
    my life changes.

    I hear that
    a reporter flash-escapes his car an instant before the river claims it;
    disorder has hidden benefits;
    a focus on clients births Procter and Gamble’s Swiffer.

    AND

    I phone my son in the flood zone;
    I purchase a refreshing read;
    I connect the Swiffer to the Saskatchewan Roughriders to assessment in my workshop introduction.

    Serendipity.

    My blog is at http://laprochaineetape.blogspot.ca/

    • Anne Clark
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      Yvette, I love the way everything in your piece comes round in a circle. (And I hope your son is okay! Such floods!)

  66. Sue Kuentz
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, especially in the early morning when the sun’s warm rays filter in the corner window of my bedroom onto my ol’ chair, I notice the chair’s various shades of textured yellow coat revealing its age and worth:
    *Three smooth dips in its seat- voracious listeners and readers
    *imprints of fingers sliding deep between the seat and its curved back support to uncover lost treasures
    AH- much like the rings of a tree’s trunk telling its own story

    I sit and write it all down.

    • Anne Clark
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Anne Lamott talks about writing as though you are picturing things through a 2-in picture frame. You have done that here–and I love the connection between stories, reading and treasures!

  67. Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    I also loved Kate\’s mentor text, so here\’s my take on it:
    Sometimes, on a porch in July
    the air is so thick
    you have to swing a little higher
    to get a breeze to kiss your skin,
    pink from a day at the pool.
    It\’s when you\’ll catch a whiff
    of a neighbor\’s freshly cut grass.

    And taste the sweetness of an
    orange Popsicle as it melts down your throat.
    And hear the mingle of laughter
    and shouting, echoing
    from someone\’s backyard.

    You jump up to join in,
    but pause
    and smile
    because you know the day is long and
    it\’ll be hours til you hear your mother call.

  68. Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Definitely quick-writey and not polished:

    Sometimes, at the start line, nervousness overwhelms me, and the questions begin. Did I dress right? Did I eat enough dinner? Did I eat too much? I have to pee. And then, the National Anthem plays, the gun goes off, and I’m okay.

    Sometimes, at the one-mile mark, I realize that I’ve started too fast, yet again. The adrenaline and the crowd pushed me out, and I need to slow down. So I do, and I’m okay.

    Sometimes, at the halfway point, the questions start again. Should I be this tired? Should I drink more Gatorade? Should I drink less? I have to pee. And then a stranger shouts encouragement, and I’m okay.

    Sometimes, at mile 20, I hit the wall. I’m too tired. I can’t keep the pace. This sucks. Why am I doing this, again? My legs hurt. And then I think, just another 10k, and I’m okay.

    Sometimes, at mile 26, I start to forget about the pain in my legs. I don’t care that I can’t feel my feet. The finish line is in sight, and I’m okay.

    Sometimes, at the finish, I’m elated. I ran a personal best. I won the race. I gave it all I had. But sometimes, at the finish, I’m disappointed. I want to cry. I missed the PR by several minutes. I started too fast and fueled poorly. This was my worst race ever.

    But always, at the finish, Jordan is there. Always, he wraps my dripping body in his arms, tells me he loves me and is so very proud, and kisses my sweaty, sunburned forehead. And then, always, I’m okay.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      Oh, I hope you will share this with Jordan if you haven’t already. It’s such a wonderful thank you.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      The parallelism expresses the evolution of a marathon from the inside. Changing the word “sometimes” to “always” at the end, and then repeating it, highlights the real payoff at the end of an excruciating run. Great idea.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      I love the pain and love of running you show us, you make us feel those beautiful contrasts so neatly!

  69. Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, sitting on that old porch swing
    the weight of my babies in my arms,
    the scent of innocence,
    distant church bells waft up and over the dusty hill,
    I feel little hands push the swing from behind
    like a parent pushing a playground swing.
    The laughter that follows after the swing retreats
    knocking the pusher on their backside.
    That old porch swing is a fortress,
    protecting us from the onlookers and passersby
    with judgement in their pockets and rocks in their hearts.
    That porch swing that sits in the yard, under the maple,
    instead of on the porch where it would have to face the road;
    it’s the place where I don’t need to make excuses.
    That old porch swing is escape into truth and rest.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      “Judgment in their pockets and rocks in their hearts.” Wow – powerful! I also loved how you described the swing as a fortress. Powerful writing!

      • Debbie Grillo
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Holly! Truth makes the best poetry.

  70. Lisa
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes…in Ireland.
    * Makes me feel at home in every way
    * The pungent smell of burning peat comforts me.
    * The salty, damp sea air churning all around revives me.
    * The emerald green earth surrounds me like a blanket.
    * The local pub welcomes me as if I am a long lost relative.
    * The slower pace beckons me to actually take the time to “stop and smell the roses”.
    * The frothy embrace of a luke-warm Guinness relaxes me.
    * The “friends” I never knew I had engage me in conversation (and song if I am lucky).
    * The serenity of the seaside inspires me.
    Ireland – my “sometimes” home.

    • Deb Lairson
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Ireland beckons me from inside your poem! I have wanted to go for a very long time and your poem makes me want to go even more!

  71. Halee B
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    I have never shared any of my writing before, so this is a little scary for me! I have really enjoyed reading all of your posts.

    Sometimes, my husband and I wake up early on Sunday mornings. We get ready in a hurry (nothing too fancy) and begin our thirty minute drive. We don’t talk much because this week was a long one, last night was a late one, and we are both tired. My husband dodges potholes that have consumed the country roads of my childhood, and I finish my makeup in the sun-visor\’s tiny mirror. We are greeted by our pastor, Dan, with a bear hug and a bulletin containing the morning’s events.

    Our pew is the third one back on the left side, and Mom and Dad are already there waiting on us. I offer “good mornings” and handshakes to familiar faces and hugs to my close family friends. Blake and I squeeze into our normal spot, and I notice the sun creeping in through the stained glass, adding a warm filter to the sanctuary. I immediately recognize a strong, musky perfume, and I know Betty is sitting in her usual spot behind us.

    Our pianist begins playing, which always hushes everyone because the way she plays could be a sermon itself. Her music is the kind that just makes the soul happy. Blake hands me a piece of gum to rid the aftertaste of communion, and we settle in for the sermon. I often think Dan wrote his sermon just for me, but then I wonder how many other people think that about themselves, as well. It is impossible to get bored listening to him. He speaks with such tenacity that you can’t help but know in your heart that what he is saying is true. He finishes with a prayer, and as my husband’s eyes are closed, he finds my hand and gives it a hard squeeze…reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      This is so wonderful! It made me tear up! I love the sense of familiarity and tradition you’ve created. You’ve also painted a wonderful picture of a marriage. Beautiful!

      • Halee B
        Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Thanks so much Holly!

    • Kristin Russo
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      I love this sentence: “We don’t talk much because this week was a long one, last night was a late one, and we are both tired.” It juxtaposes the many reasons why you could have stayed home, why you could just give up, with the theme of and commitment and connection that you explore in the rest of your writing. Your writing has sweetness and strength, and is lovely and rewarding to read.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Halee,
      I love the Sunday morning feel of this. The simplicity of the routine, and yet the bigness of the peace it seems to bring. Hope you will share it with your pastor!

  72. kelly
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, beyond my patio, I have it all
    Visiting dragonflies of green, blue or red
    Alight weightlessly on marsh marigold or
    Hardy lilies not open yet this morning

    Swimming round each other
    Fin brushing by fin
    Sparkled scales of koi gather
    In the feeding place

    Mouths open, those greedy fish
    Silently slip up for a snack
    Rubbery mouths smack
    Upon my outstretched hand
    Full of koi kibble

    Noisy water, all recycling itself
    Rushes down the paths built
    To show off the swell, the swirl
    Over rocks into the pond below

    Hidden toad in rushes or grass
    Silently waiting his turn
    To feed on those who dare
    Wander into his personal space

    Bath time for robins and wrens
    Finches too take position
    To dip, feathered breasts wet
    Then wings spread to dry

    This sanctuary, so full
    Swelling with ordinary nature
    Demands nothing
    Envelops me with all I need

    • Deb Lairson
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      I really enjoyed your poem! I love the words that you chose to use. I could picture your place in my mind and felt the peace of your place. Thank you! 🙂

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Oh my goodness, I was there with you! I love your description of the water moving over the rocks – beautiful!

  73. Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, standing in the European square of Dresden, Germany, one feels so insignificant and small when looking up at the old historical baroque buildings. Glancing down the narrow, quaint cobblestone streets, I am fascinated with the women in their high heels and marvel that women here look so chic and fashionable. A tram whizzes by, church bells at the Frauenkirche sound magical and so European, as lunchtime vendors are serving bockwurst while the bakeries entice people into their shops with smells of fresh bread. I find a place to sit in the square, and look at the church bells as they continue to ring. A horse-drawn carriage is trotting through the square, while bike taxis are waiting for tourists to notice their business. It is noon, and the city is beginning to wake up, with business people on lunch breaks and tourists. It is Spring, and the sun is shining brightly. I look up at the sky, at the skyline, and again, at the old buildings. I take a mental picture of it all. I close my eyes; maybe to quiz myself and to see if I will remember it all. With eyes closed, the bells are still chiming, people are talking, and walking with shoe heels, and horses are stamping by. I open my eyes, and I find that I did remember everything I see. It’s very important that I remember everything about this city. I lived here for one year, and in just a couple weeks, my life as an expat will be over, and I’ll be moving back to Upstate New York. This is my favorite place in the whole world. Sitting here, in the Frauenkirche Square, watching the energy of the city, my city, and marveling at the old architecture, that I have never seen in the States. I am at my happiest, right now, in this moment.

    • Erika Victor
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Stacey, I live in Berlin and agree about the beauty of Dresden. I am sure these memories will inspire you to travel again.

  74. Heidi
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, in the right field bleachers,
    I feel the sun scorching my arms and legs,
    Hear the chattering of distracted fans anticipating a sailing home run, a sharp hit to left, a tall fly.
    I see an expanse of green in front of me, blue above, the City beyond, an electric I un-muddied image that even among the snugly seated strangers, I feel my mind quiet.

  75. Heidi
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    An edited version:) –

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Sometimes, in the right field bleachers,
    I feel the sun scorching my arms and legs,
    Hear the chattering of distracted fans anticipating a sailing home run, a sharp hit to left, a tall fly.
    I see an expanse of green in front of me, blue above, the City beyond, an electric, un-muddied image that even among the snugly seated strangers,
    Makes my mind quiet.

  76. Deb Lairson
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes
    Sometimes I lay in the pool
    In the hot Texas sun
    And I think…
    I ponder the future
    Reflect on the past
    I hear the whispers
    Of those who have passed
    I feel them nearby
    Comfort
    Love
    I remember
    Swimming
    As a child
    Eager to show my new tricks
    I remember
    Catching my babies
    As they learned how to swim.
    Watching them go under the water
    Eyes big
    Breaths bigger
    As they came up for air
    My favorite of all
    Are the night swims
    Without boundaries
    Only me and the moonlight
    Feeling the water wash over me
    Breathing deeply
    Relaxing
    Feeling so much
    At peace.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      I love the part about the night swims! Such a strong image there.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      There are no memories sweeter than that of special times with your children. Thank you for sharing yours.

  77. Lisa Harold
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I wrote this first on paper, then when I sat on the computer, other memories came back to me. This brought a smile to my face. Here goes….

    Sometimes, I can still see my grandmother’s flower garden. It was small and tidy; not too many different kinds of flowers, yet beautiful. (Some of those same Lily of the Valley are now growing in my mother’s garden) As I open the door to the porch, I can smell the lake, and hear the crashing of the waves on the dock and the rocks on the shore. As I step into the back yard, there is my grandfather at the grill, my grandmother with her gardening hat on; drinking her fresh lemonade; which I could never drink because it had so much pulp and I would try to strain it through my teeth. I can see us all climbing aboard the orange pontoon boat, the “Happy Wanderer”. My grandfather began barking orders to my uncles. Once under way he was the captain of the ship wearing his black Greek Sailor hat. One trip he took us across the Lake to the Excelsior Amusement Park. It was magic to travel by boat to an amusement park. I can still remember the ride home, in the dark, looking up at the stars. I felt like a princess riding on her royal boat, driven by her own sea captain.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

      I love the subtle details, like straining lemonade pulp between your teeth, that show your voice. I love it when new things come out in a second draft, and that often happens for me when I write on paper and then type into the computer. (Also Lily of the Valley is my childhood flower. So many memories attached to those, and I have a little patch in my yard that brings me back still.)

  78. Caroline Diebold
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes I come home from school to Grandma\’s house, jump on her lap and tell her all the great things I learned that day.

    Sometimes I come dragging in with my head hung down like a lost puppy. Grandma pulls me up into her warm embrace, sits me on her lap, whispers in my ear and asks, \”what happened?\” The fountain of woes comes spilling out until there is nothing left.

    Everyday whether good or bad, I know everything will be alright with grandma there to talk to. I can tell her everything and she always listens. When walking in her house I feel the warmth of her love fill me up.

    Sometimes she is my Grandma helping me learn right from wrong, but mostly she is my best friend willing to walk together no matter the weather.

  79. Lisa
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    As soon as I posted I saw things I wanted to change…you cannot take it back once it is in print!!!!

  80. Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I too wrote this on paper first and am eager to do another piece of another “time”….

    Sometimes, snuggled up with my girls, my heart is at its happiest. Baby dolls line the couch, the hum of the dishwasher and chattering of Tinkerbell on the TV but the best is the warmeth of Hayden laying on my lap. M y little girl is almost four. She quietly sucks her thumb, eyes locked on Tink, her legs entertwined with mine and her other hand on Chili Dog.
    Sometimes these snuggly times are what I think back on when we are having a trying time – remembering how her skin is soft and squishy as she is fully relaxed, cuddling with me.

    My heart is happy and content.

  81. Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    I wrote my quick-write on my blog today: http://www.hollymueller.blogspot.com. Thanks for the prompt!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Great post Holly. You can see that you are a very dedicated teacher.

  82. Posted June 25, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes,
    when I lived in Germany for one year,
    I would just stop walking
    when I was walking to the tram stop from my apartment
    and stare at the trams
    in amazement

    On the tram moments later,
    I watched out the window
    looking in amazement
    at the things that seemed to belong with me

    But as I write this,
    from halfway across the world in USA,
    I still remember it as home.

    ~Riley Walz, Age 10

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Riley, I love this poem! There’s a strong sense of movement in the poem, and a bittersweet ending. Well done!

  83. Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    As I walked by my bedroom window, a small movement caught my eye. It was a small spider that had captured a bee in its web. She nimbly moved around the bee spinning unseen threads, wrapping the bee, and anchoring her web. She would quickly spin with her back legs, carefully placing the strands, and she would cut the strands moving the bee closer to where she would store it. She danced around the bee in a strange dance, tugging, turning, and moving the bee. While I watched, the spider managed to tuck the bee into the corner of the sash, out of the wind. She worked quickly as if time was important to her. Such a small animal with such strength. I will continue to watch the spider during the weeks that I stay here; a small companion outside my bedroom window to keep me company.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      I loved the way you watched and were able to write of this brief noticing.

  84. Theresa Boulrice
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    The moment I saw the exercise I thought what a wonderful exercise for a character study! So I based mine around a ghost in my story. Here it is.
    Sometimes I watch the living kids combing their fingers through their dog’s fur or licking a sticky lollipop and wonder. I wonder what its like to feel fur or taste suger. I try to remember but only the words come to me not the sensations. I watch them run through the grass with their barefeet as they squirt each other with water. I float around staring at them. They can’t see me. I don’t like appearing in the sunlight. I hate seeing the sunbeams pass through me knowing I should be feeling something but I don’t. So I drift, a forgotten memory left wondering what its like to be alive.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Such a cool twist on the writing prompt!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      What an interesting character–I would definitely want to read more about what this character is doing there!

  85. Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, when the school day is over and I am alone in my library, I like to run my fingers across the book spines occasionally stopping to pull one out and flip to a favorite tear stained section. I smile as I remember the laughter of two friends speaking over each other as they try to share their favorite part of a story, the strained voice of a boy trying his best to eerily describe a ghost scene. These are beautiful echoes in my memory as I walk the shelves. Books are like coming home to a warm memory or revisiting a friend from long ago. Books are beautiful things. They are always there for you when you need them to lift your mood or to offer guidance. I believe books become part of who we are, because as I look around the library, that I have spent years carefully building book by precious book, I see myself.

    • Anne Clark
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      After I read your ending, I had to reread the entire post so I could read closely and find you, really find you in the books!

  86. Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I decided to post it here, too, as well as my blog: Sometimes, I take a moment in the craziness of teaching and look around my classroom at my students. One group is around a circular table discussing A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass, lamenting over a part in the book that made them sad. Another couple of students are on the computers, experimenting with making book trailers using Animoto. Some of the kids are scattered around the room, deep in silent reading their own carefully chosen independent books. One boy occasionally shows his friend a page in the graphic novel he’s enjoying, and his friend laughs. Two or three kids are at their desks working on the writing that goes with this month’s theme topic, empathy. Sometimes, there are these moments when I can stop and pause, breathe, and realize things are happening without me. I can look around at all the book covers I’ve printed off in color that line the tops of the walls all around the room. I can see the bulletin board labeled “Wall of Awesome” where sentence strips announce book series finished by students and dates on which kids have met the 40 Book Challenge. Student work lines a whiteboard. Student-made precepts, inspired by Wonder, cover the door. Plush toys of a gorilla and an elephant, purchased at the Cincinnati Zoo during a Parent/Student book club outing over The One and Only Ivan, sit atop a bookshelf. Books upon books nestle in numerous labeled tubs everywhere I can put them. Essential questions are stapled to the corkboard running along the top of the blackboard. Big questions over our read aloud, Capture the Flag, cover a piece of chart paper on the wall. Photographs of students and me taken with authors are sitting around my desk area. An original watercolor by Matthew Cordell hangs above a row of signed hardback books. It is a happy, joyful, creative place. Sometimes, I can’t believe I get to do what I do. My passion has become my profession, and my profession has become my passion. How lucky is that? In a moment, I will sit down at the table to join the discussion about A Mango-Shaped Space, listen to their stories about their pets, and I will share mine. Someone will probably call me over to edit their book trailer. A student may finish her book and ask for another recommendation just like it. Soon, it will be lunch time and this moment will be interrupted and trumped by growling stomachs. But sometimes, it looks and feels like this.

    • Andrea Payan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

      I want to be in your class! This is such a wonderful picture of a wonderful space. I love the wall of awesome idea!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Love. Love. Love. That’s exactly what I want from my classroom, too. It’s clear as the thumb on my hand.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      This is great, Holly. It’s such a great vision of your class. It makes me want to use the prompt to record my memories of my class from last year, as well (I had such a great group, they were hard to say goodbye to). Thanks for sharing it!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      What a wonderful piece! Your classroom sounds like such an inspiring place to be 🙂

  87. Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes
    Sometimes
    when I yearn for solitude
    What I need most
    is the laughter of a friend.

    Sometimes
    when no one is listening
    I realize it is because
    I haven’t spoken.

    Sometimes
    when I am bored
    I’m actually avoiding
    what needs to be done.

    Sometimes
    when it seems no one understands
    I find a thousand others
    with similar hopes and fears.

    Sometimes
    when hope is lost
    A new adventure
    is just beginning.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      This is so lovely & true. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Andrea Payan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I love this poem! You captured the feelings exactly!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      wonderful tension in those sometimes, with peace winning out

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        Thank you everyone for your comments. I’m so glad you “get” it!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Really nice, Elizabeth!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      I love the second stanza! I just finished Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and that stanza reminds me of Ari, the narrator!

  88. Andrea Payan
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, walking through the woods at camp, you can smell the pine trees. You can feel the breeze whispering past your ear. On a full moon night, you can walk without a flashlight, tiptoeing your way through the trees as the bullfrogs croak and the bats swoop through the sky. You can hear the crackle of logs popping in campfires, smell the smoke, and glimpse the flickers of light coming from each cabin group. You can hear the giggles and whispers as well as a few late-night songs from guitars and voices alike as you glance up to the glittering star-filled sky and admire the man in the moon.

    I also wrote a slice of life post today that I would like to share here: http://payanwriting.blogspot.com/2013/06/slice-of-life-best-laid-plans.html

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Andrea, what a great moment captured – great sensory details!

  89. Marie Jennette
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, at the Beach Plum, I sit on a cold concrete wall with my family to enjoy the sweetest creemees in the world. I listen to the ocean’s waves crash against the shore and smell the salty water, getting energized and feeling relaxed simultaneously. It’s finally the time to put on a sweatshirt, after a long, hot day in the sun. I wonder what makes the creemees so much tastier than the ones at home. Is it because anything on vacation tastes, smells, sounds, looks, and feels better than at home? It’s the reason why we join so many other people on that wall, happy and comfortable. It’s the reason why this will be the fourth year in a row that we go back. I think I look forward to that wall just as much as the creemees.

  90. Posted June 25, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this – it was nice to visit this space on this sticky, humid day 🙂

    Sometimes you can catch the smell of the steaming chai tea in your hand
    Hot, vanilla and spice,
    And you have to keep switching hands and slowing sips.
    Corn husks crunch with every step, and leaves –
    Some fiery and defiant
    Some brown, soft, and resigned.
    Tiny voices taunt from around every bend,
    Always just out of sight,
    Cool air and the promise of damp hay and wheezing tractors spurring them onward.

    • Jen
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      This is lovely. In my own writing I went directly to a summer memory because it is too hot in my house, and the doves are jostling at the feeder. I like how your poem brought me the cool air of autumn and the enjoyment of a hot drink. (Imagine!) You have some beautiful language- leaves that are defiant and resigned, tractors that wheeze. Nice!

    • kelly
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      I am loving this! 4 for word choice!

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

        I appreciate that! Thank you so much 🙂

  91. Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Okay, I was not expecting this response. I actually cried while writing this. It was not because I was frustrated at writing, but it took me back to that moment. Click on my name to get to my blog for the excerpt from today’s assignment. This has absolutely nothing to do with anything I am currently writing, but evidently I needed to write it.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Sometimes when I’m driving in my car, I swear I can hear your voice bursting through the low hum of the engine. The clouds part, the sun shines down, and I feel your hand on my shoulder. You tell me that you’re proud of me, you ask how Will and Amelia are doing, and how school is going.

      A tear slides down my cheek and I answer you. I tell you everything–catch you up on every little detail. And you listen. Just listen.

      The car vent blows out the smell of grass clippings, sweet corn, hamburger, and sweat. The scent fills my nostrils reminding me of you. My heart fills with joy and memories. Fond memories.

      In a short while, when I arrive at my destination, you leave knowing I have things to do. Then my emotions escape out of every pore and crevice out into the atmosphere until our next meeting.

      “See you later, Dad,” I call as I open the car door and brush one last tear from my eye.

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Oh, Liz, how beautiful! Your voice so perfectly captures the emotion, and the sensory details anchor it with personal meaning, beyond just the emotion. Very nice! (and yes, teary)

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you needed to write this…and we were lucky to share it. Just beautiful!

      • Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

        LOVE! Everything about this is so genuine and makes me, as the reader, feel with you (or your character).

  92. Wendy King
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes… I hear quiet. This vacant nothingness prompts a stirring within me. I listen careful not to arouse anyone. Moments such as this I am certain are ordained blessings from God. It amazes me the Maker of Heaven and Earth still protects, guides and showers mothers everywhere with His Blessings. I get these moments of solitude to simply be quiet, to be Mom… With one thousand four hundred and forty minutes in this day He provided naps for both children simultaneously… Sometimes…. Miracles do still appear…
    Stillness…calm…quiet…tranquility…. Peace…
    And then nap time is over!!

    • carol
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      Oh this is so me…Be Still and know that I am God……I work in a preschool and naps are blessings in disguise.

  93. Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know if this will translate or if it only makes sense in my head, as spontaneous writing sometimes does!… But thanks for this prompt as it triggered some nature details as a way of revealing my character’s childhood fear about his father’s safety on days of motorcycle racing. I’ll post it here, although I’m not sure if it makes sense out of context. Thanks for the prompt!

    Sometimes night vapors would rise off the fields, waving hands across the laneways in warning. Stare you straight in the eye from the place where darkness started at the edges of fields and crept its way through the trees overhanging the roads. Smelling of earth, of damp, of rocks uncovered by cloven hooves in the night, of the sour, live alarm of dung beneath the cows, jaws cranking out the sane pace one was to travel. Ch-omp, ch-omp, ch-omp… Pausing. Heaving out a breath. Stomping. Looking away to where a kite split the white haze of morning, where crows hid somnambulant in the trees, faces hid beneath a wing. Slow. Sl-o-o-ow. Slow. Sometimes rain would come. Barely falling, merely a dew floating in the air. Sometimes heavy sheets, rushing rivers impromptu along the lanes, drawing rivulets of mud, strings of grass, ripened berries knocked loose in the night by greedy maws, pebbles, spilled oil, sprung gears popped loose, a bit of chain, spit hocked out in yesterday’s trials, bit of tape. Men walking in the rain, boots mucking a neat path from trailer to trailer, mechanics adjusting spanners, polishing visors, low voices saying, “I’ve not heard shite,” of whether it would dry or the meet be canceled. Roonan still young enough to squat beneath the trailer’s overhang, hearing but unseen, his eyes fixed on the widening rivulets creeping beneath the trailer, widening at the chance there might be no race today. Hearing the familiar rasp of his father’s voice, the disappointment in it, seeing what he knew to be his father’s hand extend out the door to feel how hard the rain still fell. Sometimes it stopped. Sometimes Roonan’s heart would race the hour or more after rain stopped falling, anxious knowing how badly the men wanted to ride, how the crowds were clamouring, “The roads are fairly dry…” Sometimes it would rain all day and he’d lie in his bunk, coffinlike, in the caravan, forcing his gaze to stay fixed on the near distance, tuning out all other voices – the complaints, the cursing, the calculating of costs paid to come this far and not race – and press down, like holding down sick, the guilt that rose in him. To be afraid, as he never saw his father or Stephen: scared by the thought of his father flung 160 miles an hour between the hedgerows.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Those short sentences and fragments wonderfully reflect the short, choppy breath of anxiety. And there’s something evocative in all your “s” words. Fascinating!

      • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, Jeannine. Of course the teacher in me keeps going back to correct the grammar, even knowing it was just a warm-up. 😉 Thanks for your thoughts. Kate, reading through everyone else’s posts I’m taken by how effective that one word “sometimes” is at generating ideas! Thanks for the prompt.

  94. Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I am so blown away by everyone’s writing as well as seeing all of your blogs. This has been a fabulous experience so far. I’m happy to be a part of it.

  95. Jen
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes it’s the smell and rumble of a diesel truck on a warm city street or the eerie call of the mourning doves against the backdrop of rustling leaves that takes me back. Of course it is summer- it is always summer. My sister and I sit cross-legged, lanky limbs tangled on a blanket on the flat roof of our grandmother’s kitchen. Doves cajole and rustle and coo as we pass a brown paper bag of cherries back and forth, popping cherry after cherry in our mouths. Chew, gulp, chew, and spit. Who can reach the neighbor’s yard with the pit? Thwooop. Thwoop. We chomp and giggle as we eat, as we spit, until the sudden sloppy splatter of raindrops force us back over the window sill, the scent of a warm summer rain on a hot, tin roof following us in.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      So much to love in this sketch: the scene, the two of you, the joyful chew, gulp, chew and spit. Perfect.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      What a beautiful picture! It reminded me so much of all the time spent with my cousins at my grandparents’ house. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Justin Stygles
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

      That is magic writing. The word choice.

  96. kelly
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    One more poem for today….

    Sometimes
    Some
    Times
    I relive a time of great purpose
    For details, nuance held dear

    A destination,
    A birth,
    A start
    To life.
    To give push
    Into minute one,
    Hour one,
    Day one.

    That initial out of womb
    Scream- or first breath
    Of oxygen filled
    With the anticipation of what is
    Or to be

    Locking eyes with new
    Never seen eyes
    Never seen fingers
    Stretching out with the unencumbered
    Freedom of space.

    From arms to arms to arms
    To be adored upon sight
    To hold anew
    To silently witness
    A first gaze
    The promise
    The magnitude
    The immensity
    Of a babe.

    • Michelle A
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      The short lines are very effective…they give the poem a rhythm too

  97. kelly
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    I have done little today but write two poems and read so many entries above. Amazing stuff.

  98. Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Your prompt stayed with me all day, Kate, especially when I was back in my classroom, finishing up my packing and storing. I wanted to focus on specifics ,when I wrote – to connect specific smells to the larger feeling of being in my room. This is what part of my quick write (as Linda Reif would say) looked like:
    I can smell sixth graders- sweaty, infused with cookies and cereal, shampoo and hair gel, toothpaste and sneakers. But, our classroom has a specific smell, too. The Clorox wipes with which I wipe down desks twice a day, the vanilla crystals I keep in jars scattered across the room, the flowers I place on my desk every Monday. But I also smell the everyday classroom supplies that keep our days going: paper, pencil and ink – the we-are-at-work smell of a classroom used to seeing work taking place. Then, underlying everything, is the unmissable smell of books – old and new. It’s a library smell, a children smell, an invitation to just choose one and read. And, lastly, I smell our plants, earthy and leafy, breathing quietly on the window sills. All these smells…all these make-my-heart-burst-with happiness smells that signify our room.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      I smell your room Tara, even taste it!

    • Justin Stygles
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Wow. That is so cool that you captured that. Do you ever wonder how many people think about the smell of their room. Fanstastic capture!

  99. Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes in my house in Queens…

    I can see the snow pile high outside of my window covering the porch and the grass and the roots of trees,
    See into my backyard and driveway from my bedroom windows watching neighbors, nature, and family,
    A pink and white room full of toys, stuffed animals, and love.
    I can hear the voices of family both nucleus and extended,
    Random pop-ins of aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends
    and laughter
    and lively discussions on work and politics
    I can smell fried fish and grits after church on Sunday mornings
    Barbeques throughout the summer
    Freshly shampooed carpets at the change of a season
    Avon bubblegum flavored chapstick
    And moms Obsession perfume
    The taste of dad’s fried chicken and corn that was a weeknight favorite
    Deviled eggs and homemade root beer floats
    I feel the warmth of love, the safety from outside, the raised two-dimensional wallpaper in my parent’s room
    My dad’s comfortable, navy reclining chair
    I feel the peace within my father’s lap and the stern direction of my mother
    And I wonder if I will be able to provide
    This complete perfectness to my own

  100. Justin Stygles
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    (I so need to add a picture to the avatar.)

    What great stuff has been written today. Soulfull. Look at the hearts pouring out!

    Somtimes I feel like a nut… oops false start.

    Sometimes

    I wonder why?
    why does everyone else\’s success feel like my failure?
    something I should have had?
    Something I should have done?
    Why does it seem like they got what I wanted?
    Is it because of money?
    Is it because of fame?
    is it because of jealousy?
    Is it because of greed?

    Sometimes,

    I get upset…
    Is what they have better than what I have?
    Will it take them better places?
    Will it make them famous?
    Will they see or experience something I wont?
    Will they see opportunities I wont or dont have?

    Sometimes I wonder,
    Why dont I appreciate what I have?
    Why do I wait for things to be granted to me?
    Why do i think I deserve a life with no conflict?

    Sometimes I wonder, why dont just worry about me?
    Why dont I make a plan?
    Why do I worry about what will happen to every one else, then wonder why it doesnt happen to me?

    Then again, sometimes I wonder why I dont like myself…

    (Inner thoughts of my character I am developing)

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      I think this post represents what most of us feel with the flood of information coming at us. It invites an almost infinite opportunity for us to compare ourselves to others.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      When I learned this was for a character at the end of your post, I cringed. It reads EXACTLY like the side of myself that I have tried all my life to bury. The part that wallows in narcissistic agony. The part that feels OWED. I wouldn’t be surprised if lots of people will identify with your character, though we’ve all stifled it ( or have we?). I think we all had exactly those thoughts as teenagers, but few people show them. Way to connect with your readers!

    • Connie
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

      Gosh your character sounds like me. I really liked this.

  101. Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes when I run I feel every pain in my knee and each plod of my foot on the hard cement. But this is usually only at the beginning, although my mind tries to persuade me otherwise. My thoughts try to press forward the fact that this whole attempt at exercise will be one long tortuous exercise, filled with sorrow and pain.

    But if I persevere, the aches begin to fade like a building one has just left, an edifice receding into the background. At this point I begin to enjoy myself, and if I am listening to something interesting, I can lose sense of time. But not distance. I can still see where I am on my predetermined and habitual route. The geographic makers are signs to me of distance traveled and distance left to go. Pain no longer is the thing that prompts me to stop, but mental exhaustion. Can I keep moving forward?

    The middle point is the key. It is the announcement that I am no longer starting. I am now moving towards the end, the goal. And this energizes me somehow. I feel my energy levels begin to rise and my motivation increase. Now it seems as though I could run for a much longer distance. Why not just keep going?

    The podcast I am listening to fades back in to my conscious thoughts and I begin to follow the narrative like the path on am running on- one word, one step at a time. By this time I am approaching the end of my run, and I actually looking forward to stopping. The blind optimism I felt at the midway point has receded and some of the aches have returned. But not in the same way. Now they are refreshing pains. Pains won through effort on a journey. I feel better for having run today, although I am glad I am taking the day off tomorrow.

    • AJ
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      You make me want to go running. I usually stop at the first painful feeling. Great writing!

    • Justin Stygles
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      You nailed that. Thank heavens for the music? Do you go back out the next day and do it again, tomorrow, just to prove you can?

      • Posted June 26, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        I do try to run a couple of times a week. Trying to work up to a 10k. This morning I ran 4 miles.

  102. Leslie
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes I watch the news, mesmerized by the flames engulfing my childhood. South Fork whisked us from, “what’s for dinner” and “go to your room” weaving a magical net of memories through our hearts.

  103. Jordan
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Pewit’s Cove

    Sometimes, too hot to move,
    I have the itch to run.
    And though my strength is stolen
    by the sun.
    There the water lets me dance.

    Sometimes, just the one stream
    Is adventure; true, tried.
    And though the world is looming
    At each side
    There the trees let me see far.

    Sometimes, too eager to go,
    I might slip and scream.
    And though my mind distracted,
    –Keep this dream–,
    There the canyon stops my breath.

  104. Connie
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    I’m goin to try this and from my phone. I don’t mind suggestions because this is not something I can a d usually do (write)

    Wh-occ
    ………….Wh-occ
    ….DING

    Sweat
    Heat
    Wood to leather

    Drumming – sounds like fingers on a table but it’s not
    A bucket of balls each waiting, wanting, knowing
    It just takes one, that one they all want.
    The perfect pitch, the perfect swing. It’s that one the one that goes and goes and never stops. They can see it and they wait.

    Batting Pracitice.

    • Justin Stygles
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      Love the end… batting practice, totally changes the image!

  105. Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Wow! This is one amazing group of writer/ educators.
    I almost missed this today as it was our last day of school. So glad I logged on!
    Kate, thank-you for hosting and posting, especially this one. Poetry is my shaky area, and it\’s the one my 6th grade students love the best. It will be my focus next year.
    Your suggestion today allowed me to get inside my character a little more. I may not use it in my overall story, but I will likely use it with my students. I am looking forward to revising this one in the fall!

    Sometimes on the ballfield
    the dust settles

    I am alone
    captain of my kingdom

    I kick
    scratch back and
    wiggle in
    fingers searching seams

    The birds silence
    they don’t dare fly near
    There is greatness here on this field
    today.

    I reel back
    and let it fly
    the chainlink sings

    Jump to the side
    catch on the
    bounce back

    Turn
    Stepquick
    A dance with the dust
    clouds me like chiffon
    my dirt gown waltz

    Out!

    And I play it again and again

    And when the dust settles
    In the quiet

    I let it fly.

  106. AJ
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, in a classroom in June
    the students are unsure how to feel.

    Anticipation for the summer ahead,

    fear of the unknown,

    and that feeling of loss

    when you know

    you are leaving behind

    your teacher,

    your memories,

    and your classmates.

    You have to slow down
    and this is good.
    It’s when you’ll notice
    the smell of a book that has never been read before.

    It’s when you’ll hear the encouragement

    from your teacher,

    telling you to keep reading,

    to keep writing,

    and that your ideas matter.
    You know that this year will not be left behind.

    You are stronger, more confident, a better person.

    You will carry this year with you in your heart always,

    as will your teacher.

    -AJ

    • Andrea Payan
      Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      This is beautiful and exactly how I feel. It would be a great poem to share with your students.

    • Posted June 27, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      You’ve captured so well what my students were feeling today! And myself for that matter! I retired after 36 years in teaching – scary and bittersweet.

  107. Pam Ela
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes when you walk through a door, it’s just routine.
    A trip to the store.
    Drop books at the library.
    We are out of milk!
    Time for soccer practice.
    Another day at work.
    Another day at work.
    Another day at work.

    Sometimes walking through a door is anything but routine.
    Tears streaming down your face as you look one last time
    at the slightly darker carpet patch in front of where
    grandpa’s chair used to be.
    Walking out the door to
    walk down the aisle.
    Heading to the hospital to come home not as two
    but three.
    Taking your child to the airport to start her college journey.

    Sometimes you walk, head held high,
    eyes sparkling in the sunlight.

    Sometimes you walk slowly and alone,
    eyes to the ground as the tears
    splash almost silently to
    the sidewalk.

  108. Nicole Jamison
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes on the beach….
    Hot sand burns small toes
    Water cools them.
    “Oh Mommy, It’s Brrrr!”
    shivering girls complain.
    Yellow sun shimmers on lotioned white skin.
    Dissolving castles of sand flow away in rising tides.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      That last line makes me think of how fleeting the time on a vacation can be.

  109. Posted June 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, when I am at the Lake in Indiana, where I can escape the noise of life, I get to lose myself in my stories and with my characters. They tell me their fears, worries, and dreams. I can hear them cry, laugh, and vent. I can partner with them and create. Sometimes I wish that sometimes was all of the time, but then sometimes would not be a sometimes.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      I love the line “Sometimes I wish that sometimes was all the time, but then sometimes would not be a sometimes.” Too true.

  110. Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    I feel like I must explain myself before I post my writing. It’s been quite a long day and I am committed to participating everyday. Having said that, this is truly QUICK in the world of quick writes. I always tell my students NOT to apologize for their writing, and look at what I’m doing. Thanks for indulging my very quick, quick write response… Floating in the chlorine blue water, smelling the faux coconut of sunscreen and listening to the voices makes me smile. I’ve always been the first one into the water and the last one out. Swimming in the pool brings memories of family and happiness. Drippy watermelon and singed hot dogs feed my belly and the water hugging me feeds my soul. How is it that everything feels like it’s going to be ok while I’m floating in water? Water drowns my worry.

  111. Laura Bellina
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes when I am sitting at my art desk I touch the smooth honey wood that my father crafted with his own hands. I feel the desire to create something from nothing. To feel that great meditation that comes form throwing your self into a feeling or idea. To bring something into existence that has yet know life. I feel my fathers steady hands shaping the wood into what he wants it to be and it’s then I know, I can take that blank sheet of paper create what I want. On that piece of paper I draw and paint my own world where everything and anything is possible, even being a writer.

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      I love the tactile nature of this description – feeling the wood. Thanks for sharing!

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

      I love the spirit of this! You made me feel what it must be like to sit down there and I particularly like how you allowed to connect with your dad.

  112. Michelle A
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, on the deck in the backyard,
    far off lawnmowers, roses in bunches, an empty swing set
    a random bee, the lounge chair–a mesh magic carpet
    How long can this last?
    A book in my hands, my mind in my book
    the door opens
    my name, a request
    the gate latch clicks
    I hop up

    • Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      Been there, done that, love it! Heard it, saw it and felt that moment of the call.

  113. Kat
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes I long for the summers as a child I spent fishing with you on the lake. Bringing the day’s catch back in that big white bucket, cleaning and filleting them on the wooden table near Uncle Joe’s while the swarm of yellow jackets danced about us. You sold the cottage when I was away at college and I resented you for that.

    Sometimes I wish I would have listened to you, years ago when you told me, “Be a teacher.” Deep down I knew you were right, but I was rebellious…and studied to be a newspaper journalist instead.

    Sometimes I wonder what my life might have been like had I listened to you when you said, “Don’t marry him.” Again, deep down I knew you were right, but I was determined to start a family.

    Sometimes I think about when you moved across the country after retiring from teaching. You came up to my workplace and told me you were moving that week. I had no idea you were even looking for a new place to retire to, but that’s how our relationship was…distant and awkwardly quiet.

    Sometimes I hate that you got sick after so many years caring for your ailing wife. You spent so much time and energy on her that you forgot to care for yourself. When you found out, it was too late.

    Sometimes I see a white butterfly, the same kind I saw when the phone rang one year ago today, and I think it’s you, coming to check up on me, letting me know you are happy, safe and still making sure I am doing well.

    Sometimes I just want you to show yourself to me…to tell me how proud you are that I am a now a teacher and teaching in a school just down the street from where you used to live. Knowing that I moved across the country to be closer to you, only to have you leave just before I got here.

    Sometimes I wish I could have told you more, just how much I love you. How much I will always treasure the memories of you. I will always work at making you proud of me, even though you are no longer here to tell me.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Ok, nearly crying now. You had me at “white butterfly.” I knew at “a year ago,” So sorry for your loss.

  114. Laura Hunt
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    One time in Glacier National Park
    I saw mountain goats nibbling wildflowers
    mere feet off the beaten trail
    seemingly oblivious to camera shutters
    and children’s excited gasps

    With my family alone
    sweat formed beads on my forehead
    and dribbled down my neck
    ten miles never seemed so long
    or so short when I’d reached the pass
    that revealed four gem-colored lakes below

    One morning I was awakened
    by a moose lumbering through bear grass
    making her daily dawn trek to the lake
    luring me from the cocoon I’d made in my tent
    a thin layer of frost covering food bags
    we had strung from a tree

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Wow…I was with you on that walk, delighting in all you saw!

  115. Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes in a dark movie theater…

    I see the flashes of light across my face..

    The popcorn butter hitting my nose.

    The salt and the sweet of the moment.

    The whispers and secrets that are hidden in the shadows..

    The quiet that is heard in between the shouts and long looks..

    The hope that lines each seen..

    Of hope and love

    Of pain and strength

    The place where all of the necessary words are spoken.

    The place where dreams come true and heroes win.

    The place where tears are welcomed.

    That quiet two hours projecting the truth.

  116. Marnie Turman
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes before I go to sleep, I hear the rhythmic waves distantly crashing on the reef.

    Sometimes before I go to sleep, I smell the sweet fragrance of tropical flowers mixing with the salty sea on the gentle warm breeze.

    Sometimes before I go to sleep, I hear the afternoon rain tapping on the tin roof and trickle down the gutters.

    Sometimes before I go to sleep, I see the fading sun disappear in a green flash beneath the deep blue horizon.

    Sometimes when I sleep, I dream of Antigua.

  117. Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, on a clear summer night, I drag a chair out to the fire pit. Everyone else is tucked away in the house, and it’s just me, the stars, and the symphony of night. Here, amidst the choir of crickets and the conversations of frogs, I turn my eyes skyward and let go.

    I let go of all of the worries I have been carrying with me. For these few precious moments, there are no thoughts of to-do lists, paperwork, students who keep me awake at night, or obligations.

    I let go of all of the doubts that have been cluttering my thoughts. Out here, there is no need to wonder if I am good enough, if I’m fast enough, smart enough, pretty enough, thin enough, or even just…enough.

    I let go of the fears, the anxiety, the anger, and, in letting go, I am free. Free to appreciate and reflect on all that is good around and within me.

    My mind fills with wonder as I take in the beauty of the stars above me, painting pictures that together weave stories old as time. The flicker of lightning bugs brings a smile to my face as memories glide in and out of focus.

    Moments of time filled with immeasurable happiness, shrieks of laughter, and smiles as abundant as the mosquitos that now surround me fill me with an inner peace, grounding me and bringing focus back to my life.

    I breathe the clean night air in deeply as I say a prayer of thanks – for this life, this moment, and this place.

    When I go inside, I leave the chair for the reminder of what I feel right now – peace, calm, rejuvenation – for when life picks back up in the morning, attempting to diminish those things in favor of what I let go.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      Wow! I love this. Your place is very different from the one I wrote about, but our reasons for being in those places are similar! 😉 I love how you leave the empty chair there as a “placeholder” for the peace, comfort, and quiet….

  118. Posted June 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    So much for a quick-write! This took about 4 hours.

    Sometimes, on a summer morning

    Grandpa Stuart’s fields are touched

    by the rays of the rising sun

    so just the top of the grasses

    glow in the yellow light.

    The rest of the poem, and the story behind it, are on my blog: http://readingtothecore.wordpress.com/2013/06/25/sometimes/

  119. Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes I sneak out before father is awake. I don’t stop to put on shoes because I love the feel of the cool grass on my feet. It gets even better when I get to the pond because then the grass is taken over by mud that oozes around my toes as my feet sink further and further down. As I take each step I hold my breath. Hoping. In that moment I feel my mother. She whispers for me to look out and over the pond. I do. Gliding along the early morning light is my family of ducks. They leave behind a trail of rippled water that catches bits and pieces of the early morning sun. They are so beautiful. My heart is soaring. Two more steps, my skirts held high and I am on the raft and sitting. As I watch the ducks, I listen into the still. There are no crickets. No frogs. Even the birds and the wind are quiet now. They know I am waiting to hear another whisper now that I know she is here with me. I hug my legs and put my chin on my knees.

    Please.

    Please.

    I close my eyes and there.

    There. I feel her and breath in the smell of sweet peas. I wait with every inch of my being still so I can feel her touch my cheek. Kiss my head. I love you.

    Slowly I open my eyes thinking this time I will see her. But she isn’t there. I let out breath I was holding.

    The pocket of silence makes room for the birds morning song. The wind returns as a breeze that pushes itself through the leaves on my tree. Mother’s tree really. Planted when she was only a baby and now grown tall and wide and wise. At least that is what Uncle says. I smile and jump up almost tipping myself into the pond. He is home today! Uncle! I will tell him. He will believe that my mother is here. I know he will.

    ***

    What an excellent exercise. I made myself just write to get a feel for my MC’s favorite place to hang out and what has me chuckling is how all of a sudden what was going to be an historical mg novel is now an historical mg novel with a ghost in it? I love my ghosts and they keep trying to get into my stories come heck or high water.

    • Amy Karawi
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

      Love this!!!

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      This really had a sense of suspense about it so that I was compelled to read on– and wondered if Mother would be there when her eyes opened! You have quite a story going there. I’m wondering about the father, and why she’s so quiet as she leaves the house and obviously does not want to disturb him (or maybe for him to disturb her??)

    • Christine Benson
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      This is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for taking me to this place with this wonderful character. I think I have been her once or twice. 🙂

  120. Michelle O'Brien
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes on a Sunday morning,
    waking up happens slowly, gently—
    without the jarring bleep, bleep, bleep
    of the insistent alarm.
    The dog stretches, yawns, nudges me gently.
    Stretching myself, I hear the voices of those
    I love already up and moving downstairs.
    Hazelnut coffee invites me down me, its aroma so good
    I can almost taste it.
    But the softness and warmness of my bed
    are seductive, promising me caresses that I love.
    Sometimes on a Sunday morning, I allow myself
    to sink back into that embrace,
    but sometimes, on a Sunday morning,
    I shake off my bed’s hold on me and stumble down
    to join my family instead.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      I love the way you repeated the line “Sometimes on a Sunday morning” – and the lovely images of all that drew you back to bed.

  121. Kerry Zielke
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes in the desert it would rain in the summer. The smell of wet creosote and dirt would call for us. We would run out of the swamp-coolered house. No shoes needed, as mud squished between our toes.
    If we were lucky, it was a flash flood and a river of brown rapids would run through our property. We would gather tumbleweeds and sticks to float down the waterway. Often, we were told to stay away, as even the gentlest looking stream could quickly turn into a dangerous torrent.
    We ran in the down-pour, sweat droplets mingling with the rain running down our backs. Finally, a moment of relief from the intense sun hiding behind the clouds.

    I really would like to write a novel set in the desert because it is such a big part of who I am. Don\’t know when I will get around to it, but the extreme weather has always seemed to be symbolic . Summers where the heat was held in the asphalt, especially at night, is a vivid memory.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:38 am | Permalink

      I can totally envision this– and I’ve never been in a desert! It seems like a perfect vignette for a character to share…. Good luck with your desert idea!

  122. Kerry Zielke
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Okay, my paragraph breaks didn\’t translate. Hope it still makes sense.

  123. carol
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I can still smell he Aqua Net hairspray, and Jean’Nate perfume. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of a memory, a smile, a hug, a kiss good night. Sometimes I wish I could go back.

  124. Jennifer Smith
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Sometimes on Saturdays

    It’s morning…no work
    I’ll just sleep a bit longer
    But it’s calling

    A ribbon of deep roasted French treasure dripping
    Hot, mouth warming
    Waiting for hazelnut to join it.

    Overcome by starch
    Fluffy, rising, comforting
    Brown, uneven edges, even lacey
    Waiting for liquid Carmel sugar to melt and drizzle, dribble

    Feeling the chains of slumber falling away
    I am pulled toward my reward…

    A tower of cakes and a cup of liquid gold-will I ever get too old for this?

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:36 am | Permalink

      This sounds decadent! Great sensory details…it almost makes me want to give up sleep to give coffee a try, but… maybe not…. 😉

  125. Amy Karawi
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Sometimes riding along the path, down the empty streets or on a deserted sidewalk, I hear the melodic sparrows’ song and the cacophony of SUVs, while the intertwined scents of pungent flowers and summer sewers combines with rapid heartbeats and desperate frustration.
    City sweat drips slowly onto the wet pavement
    Slick and sticky; stinky and subtle.
    Sometimes my bike ride is not so much about where I’m going, but where I’ve been.
    My destination is about NOW — riding along the path, up the streets and on crowded sidewalks,
    Recalling what once was and now is.

  126. Cari
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    Sometimes, I can turn back time and remember being a child
    in October
    in the northeast
    when trees look like they had been set on fire with leaves flickering yellows, oranges and reds.

    Sometimes, I can turn back time to air so crisp it takes my breath away
    and I am in orchards surrounded by pumpkins,
    knowing the perfect one, perfect size, perfect shape in my imagination
    waits for me to find it.

    Sometimes, I can turn back time to drinking fresh apple cider and taking allergy-free hay rides.
    Sometimes, I can turn back time to when my family was intact and my childhood never knew that
    it would one day end.

    Sometimes, I remember so many simpler times and wish
    I could turn back time.

    • Amy Karawi
      Posted June 27, 2013 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Very nice. I love the sensory language. It reminded me of returns to school in autumn as a child, before it became too mundane and too “adult”.

  127. Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I’ve done something similar to this before, but today I chose a different place than I’ve ever written about in the past. Before I knew it, I had 6 different starts and four full pages in my Writer’s Notebook! 🙂 I’m sharing one of the shorter ones with you all today….

    Sometimes, sitting along the bank of the Maye River on the lawn of the old church,
    I feel the stillness and quiet all around me.
    I let it settle over and in me, and my breathing calms, and my heartbeat slows
    as the bittersweet scent of the salt marsh breeze sweeps across my face and into my soul.
    And in that moment only God and I exist
    and I speak to him in quiet whispers
    of my fervent dreams
    and my troublesome worries
    knowing all along that He knows them all, even if I don’t speak a word.
    Minutes—or maybe it’s hours?—later
    the darkening sky is streaked with pinks and sherbet-oranges and purples
    and it is only then,
    after my soul feels truly at peace,
    that I slowly rise and turn and make my way back to join reality.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Wow, this is so calming and peaceful to read!

    • Jaimarie Nelson
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:45 am | Permalink

      How calming to read as well. I love sacred moments like that. You’ve captured one.

  128. Jaimarie Nelson
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    Sometimes I get the kids away from technology
    Some of them beg me to take them to the creek, others consent begrudgingly

    Sometimes a secret spot is ours for the afternoon
    our unviverse is hidden down the bank
    Where dappled sunlight peeks through the shady spots
    And the air is cooled here by the once winter snow from our Rocky Mountains
    The crowd upstream at the children’s splash park cannot be heard in this haven we have discovered
    Instead I hear the creek trying to babble out over the the din of cousins and friends skipping rocks, splashing, swimming
    Sometimes making pb&js for eight in a beach chair by the creek is the most rewarding work
    I watch the discoveries of current and cold and hear the screams of splashed surprise
    Smooth flat rocks are treasures for rock skippers, sticks are claimed and coveted, mud explored, houses in the trees created.
    Our world is simple yet we do not tire of its curiosities
    Slugs leave sticky trails on our arms
    Ladybug nymphs are discovered not as pretty as their older selves
    Rapids are conquered or feared. A scrape or cut reminds us that our explorations are real, not from books or dreams

    Sometimes sticks and stones are a break from the noisy wifi life we’ve abandoned for the afternoon.

    • Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Beautiful, baby. Love the alliteration and the phrase “rewarding work”.

  129. Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Just got home from late night fishing, so no profound writing thoughts, just straight from the boat thoughts….
    Sometimes out on the boat we get lucky and catch fish. Sometimes they’re just small crappies that we throw back to grow some more, but other times we get to real in big ones, like tasty walleye for a family fish fry. Other times there is no luck, just patience, a quiet lake with nature sounds all around us. On second thought, those are usually the fishing trips filled with brothers arguing and whining to go back home!

  130. Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Okay– I didn’t know I was going to improve my math so much by participating in this writing experience! 😉 (What IS 81 + 59?)

  131. Posted June 26, 2013 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    Here is my “Sometimes” poem:

    Sometimes…
    When I lie in bed, the fan blows its cool breath against my hair,
    Using it to tickle my face and scalp,
    To raise awareness of parts of me I sometimes forget exist.

    To forget part of you exists…
    When one is enveloped in the arms of worry,
    Sometimes it is easy to forget about being alive.

    Breathing in long, perfume laced breaths,
    My toes curl beneath cool linen sheets speckled with turquoise and lime green polka dots.
    My chest bobbles up and down in a sea of vines that seem to grow along the bedspread with each breath.

    Everything in this room that I touch is alive.
    I turn to my side to kiss a peaceful dreamer, and
    I remember what life is all about, and how precious it is.

    Thank you for reading!

    -DR

  132. Alisha Winters
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    Sometimes at night, after teeth-brushing, prayers, and lights out, I curl up in the corner of the couch and open the door to far-away places.
    Sometimes at mid-day, when the kids rush out to play, I sneak behind my desk to steal a few minutes (15 to be exact) living the life of someone else.
    Sometimes in the morning, before the sun comes up, before my brain can begin racing away with all the worries of the day ahead of me, I pour myself into feeling the fears, excitement, and adventures of others….in my new favorite book!

  133. DebKrygeris
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in late summer, as I gaze at the lake,
    I hear the water gently lapping as it bumps against the sandy shore.
    Its quiet rhythm soothes my soul and I breath in time to its slow beat.
    The lonely calling of the loons draws my attention and
    as I watch, they dive into the cool, dark gray water, then reappear farther away,
    small black dots, bobbing on the lake’s tranquil surface.
    As a breeze blows, I feel the hint of autumn’s arrival,
    the coolness prompting me to reach for my blanket to pull around my body.
    The last rays of the setting sun illuminate the maples and aspens around the shore
    beginning to hint at the beauty of fall’s crimsons and tawney golds to come.
    I sip my coffee, warming my hands on the mug, and close my eyes.
    I wonder if I can imprint this image in my head for eternity, because for me
    this is the definition of peace. It is my postcard that I can pull from the depths of my mind anytime I need to slow down the pace of my life.

  134. Posted June 26, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Sometimes in the backyard on a quiet morning you can hear the rustle of the sea grass in a slight breeze. My toes slipped in flip flops become wet in the dew and stick to freshly cut grass. Sometimes I lay on my back and stare at the blue sky and white clouds trying to remember what it was like to be five years old and able to appreciate all the most important things.
    Sometimes in the backyard on a quiet morning I can see the few morning commuters starting their days as the car slips by down the street. There is a careful balance of the morning, a gentle sway.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      I think capturing quiet is such a tricky thing to do in writing – but your snippet did so beautifully.

  135. Deb Drago-Leaf
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, when I remember to pause for a few minutes, the coffee mug warms my hands as I sit on my back deck. Listening to the birds sing their songs of individuality, I am reminded that each day is unique and appreciate the early morning sun peeking through seemingly ever-present upstate clouds to light up my cheeks. I lean back in my chair and observe the small cherry tree, its green baby cherries hiding in the embrace of protective momma leaves. I search out new green babies as the breeze brings gentle wiggles to each leaf. Taking the all-important first sip of hot coffee, the bitter-sweet taste reminds me it’s time to start this day’s activity.

  136. Christine Benson
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    My Sometimes is written from my MC’s POV:
    Sometimes in my sketchbook I had drawn various versions of my mother. I clipped pictures from the local paper or celebrity photos from the internet as my models. When the art professor assigned contour drawing I would draw nose after nose while staring at myself in the small rectangle mirror.

    During our unit on portraiture, we learned the nose is the only vertical line of the face and can change the way you view a person. I changed this part of my “mother’s” face the most in my renderings. By the end of the unit, I felt I was close to the right effect, but the nose was too sharp. Even blending the shading, I couldn’t quite soften the face enough. Staring at my pencil smudged finger, I thought about how I would never produce my mother, even if I did get the lines right.

    Now, since meeting Sierra, there was a shift in my art. I was ready to try again. I printed a picture of her from her company website and clipped it into my sketchbook. A drawing of my actual mother would be my project for the art show. But, I would not draw her whole. She would be fractured. The parts of her face would be fractured like a porcelain mask finally being pieced together, matching the way my history was slowly coming together.

    A Puzzle Discovered would be the title of my art show entry. Speaking of puzzle, where is Jessica? She always runs late, but she NEVER misses art class. I texted her and began to draft the shape of Sierra’s face on the smooth paper, allowing for the fracture gaps. As I listened to my pencil scratch at the page, I thought about the white paper and how it would enhance the pale skin of my birth mother. So different from my own.

    Deferring the sadness and confusion, I checked my phone. Still nothing from Jessica. After two more unanswered texts, I snuck out to the hall to call her.

  137. Heidi McCarthy
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, no most of the time during our getaway to Vail we relax and slow down so much we find ourselves again. We reconnects as we walk along the sidewalks in the park. We watch and eagerly look for the duck family and count this year’s ducklings. We see that this is a family place and we know why we look forward to it every summer.
    The free music that is offered each year gives us a chance to settle into a rhythm as a family again…new songs or old familiar tunes; we sway together again and we are one.
    Even the food connects us, roasted smores on the deck, sweet ice cream by the Covered Bridge or brand new tastes from the Farmer’s Market bring us together in ways unique to our time in the Vail Valley.
    The memories of “every year we” and the hopes of “next time let’s” are treasured by all five of us and give us a renewal at just the right time to face the year again.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      So many of my favorite things! I love summer concerts in the park – and s’mores! Love having yearly traditions to enjoy, too. This wrapped me up in memories and “can’t wait until” for our yearly summer roadtrip to Michigan! Thanks!

      • Heidi
        Posted June 26, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

        I hope you enjoy your time away too!! Thanks for the kind words

    • Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Heidi, I like how you described several things that help your family to slow down enough to reconnect again. So important. I can see why it’s a favorite place.

  138. Leigh Anne Eck
    Posted June 26, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    I know this is late and no one will probably even read it, but the last week of June crept up on me. This is my first post and I am really nervous. I feel putting my writing out there is like exposing myself with only my fear to cover me up….But here goes.
    Sometimes, I sit at the top of the hill
    overlooking our small town
    the sun
    slowly closing
    its droopy eyes
    on the day
    but not before reminding me
    with it hues of red, yellow and purple
    that today was a great day
    and not before night
    restores and refreshes
    my mind, body and soul
    ready to start again.

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      This is lovely. (And I’m cheering for you for taking the plunge & sharing!)

    • Christine Benson
      Posted June 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

      I love how sweet and light and simple it feels. It brings forth hope. Like a deep breath! Thanks for sharing! It’s scary at first.

  139. Posted June 26, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I love the comparison of the individual birdsongs to the uniqueness of a day. This takes me out onto my back porch, a favorite morning place for me — but one I don\’t always grant myself time to relax in! Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

    • Posted June 26, 2013 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      well, stuff and silliness. This should have gone with Deb’s comment. 😛

  140. Posted June 27, 2013 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    I love all the posts here — each so varied and filled with the voice of the writer. Reminds me all over again why I love Teachers Write!
    Here’s my own untidy quickwrite, which started as a truth and morphed along the way. 🙂

    Sometimes, in the mirror, I catch a glimpse of her. It’s something about the curve of my chin, perhaps. Or my eyes — pale blue — just like hers.

    Sometimes I pause there beside the mirror, my lips — thin like hers — curling up into a smile. My head tilts this way and that, birdlike, searching for other signs that connect me to my past.

    As a child I was embarrassed to carry even her name, tucked secretly into my own.

    “It’s such an old name, Mom,” I protested. “You gave me an old lady name!”

    And I hid that name, gave myself a false name, refused to be attached to something so woefully old.

    Now I hunt in the looking glass for signs of her, thankful that years after she has gone, I still carry her in my face.

  141. Posted June 27, 2013 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Kelly,

    Very moving!

    Here’s mine- a little late to game.

    Sometimes, in the pasture by the creek
    -the sun blazes down
    -the breeze gently teases my skin
    -the horses neigh quietly
    -the dogs pant lightly
    AND
    I see all that God has blessed me with—
    I smell the sweet scent of freshly mowed hay—
    AND
    I wonder-how deserving am I?

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

    • Posted June 27, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Just lovely. You transported me back to my father-in-law’s farm. 🙂

  142. Maureen Riordan
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I know this is late but I just finished school yesterday and I wanted to do my first writing post despite being late.

    Sometimes, I can close my eyes and I am transported back to my childhood as if in a time machine. I’m riding in the back seat of my Uncle Paul’s car traveling home from whatever adventure he took my mother, grandmother, sister and I on that Wednesday afternoon when he was released from his duties as a banker. I gaze out the car window at the inky star-filled night sky listening to my mother and her brother singing “I see the moon…the moon sees me” in harmony. Staring at that bright full moon makes me wonder if someone could really “carry moonbeams home in a jar”. After a while, I start to yawn and my grandmother motions for me to cuddle up next to her. I snuggle into her and smell that special grandma scent, a combination of Lily of the Valley and possibly witch hazel. I nuzzle her wool sweater with my cheek feeling warm and safe. As the tires beat a steady rhythm on the road, I can barely keep my eyes open. Then my head starts to droop. Grandma’s lap becomes my pillow as I drift off . . . until the motion stops and I feel two strong arms carrying me safely to the comfort of my bed where I sleep in my clothes and dream of more adventures.

    • Shannon Minner
      Posted June 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      I love this Maureen. While reading it I felt like that child. The things you noticed and your thoughts made me think of what could be going through my own boys’ heads as we experience things. Great job!

  143. Shannon Minner
    Posted June 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a snipet from some of my senses listed…

    Sometimes I stare at our immense back yard. I feel the summer sun warming my skin. I see freshly laid mulch with brown leaves dotting the surface. I hear the sound of plastic Big Wheels moving up and down my driveway. I wonder if there is a rattlesnake laying in wait somewhere on our property.

  144. Debra Yocum
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Here is my poem:

    Sometimes, in the early morning hours
    my mind clicks on,
    running in circles around some hidden worry,
    disturbing my sleep,
    disturbing my dreams.
    Unspoken hurts, unspoken words invade my peace
    leaving me limp,
    drained of energy and positive thoughts,
    unable to contemplate a plan,
    unable to climb out.
    Sometimes, in the early morning hours
    my mind clicks on,
    and I wish I could shut it off.

  145. Julia Brooks
    Posted June 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes, I sit and think
    how very lucky I am
    to be here,
    in my own, paid-for-by-me, home.

    I marvel at my green grass that I mow
    and my luscious purple flowers, planted by someone else
    but perfect for me.

    I delight in the chirping
    of birds early in the morning,
    waiting for them to approach
    my new feeder,
    a gift from me to them.

    I smell the subtle scent of wildflowers and freshly cut grass,
    wondering if chlorophyll
    has that intoxicating smell…

    I taste life as it comes,
    challenges and changes,
    at times sweet
    and other times slightly bitter.

    I wonder what each day
    will bring as I spend
    my time in this safe place,
    my oasis,
    my beautiful home
    with wooden floors and
    shiny appliances,
    a dream that finally came true.

    I am home
    and this place brings me joy.

    I have earned this and
    as much as it is mine,
    I am also a piece of it.

  146. Posted June 29, 2013 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    An excerpt: “. . .Sometimes I squat down closer to where the grass meets my sidewalk, behold the sparkling signatures of recently-repaired sprinkler heads still sitting in beads bound by surface tension on slender tender jade tendrils. . .”

    More at http://dbnelson.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/sometimes/

  147. Nora Ziegler
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Up a Maple Tree in July
    By Nora Ziegler

    Sometimes, up a maple tree in July,
    I could see a robin’s nest
    With pale blue eggs,
    Waiting to hatch,
    Full of promise and hope.

    Or, if I looked off into the neighborhood,
    I might see Stevie and Shirley, brother and sister,
    Across the street, in another heated battle,
    Egging each other on,
    Scathing comments, cutting and burning.

    A glance downward might catch Mom
    Sneaking a cigarette on the back porch,
    Believing she was hiding it from me,
    And my brother, Craig.
    But knowing we knew, we knew.

    Jet’s barking voice
    Would cause me to turn
    And see the mailman
    Slowly, fearfully approaching our mailbox,
    Hand ready on his Mace,
    And I would secretly send up a prayer
    To quiet that silly, powerful, part Doberman.

    Finally, relaxing against the main trunk,
    And closing my eyes to no longer see,
    I would hear:
    The mother bird fluff her feathers
    Over her eggs to keep them warm,
    The sound of insects chewing
    Under the bark of my beloved tree,
    The sound of an airplane,
    High overhead.

    And then I would imagine
    being on that plane
    and flying far, far away.

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